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To have a balanced portion of green leafy vegetables and other vegetables is important as they contain so many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, dietary fibre.

By consuming vegetables, we can acquire security against non-communicable diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and improves the risk factors associated.

Vitamins:

  • These are required for overall cell function and development by the body.
  • Involved in body’s metabolism processes.
  • Lowers the risk of non-communicable diseases.
  • Vegetables rich in beta carotene (carrots, green leafy vegetables) and carotenoids(carrots, broccoli) reduces the risk of lung cancers.

Dietary Fibre:

  • Vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fibres.
  • Fibres keep the digestive tract healthy and digestion system smooth.
  • It also reduces total cholesterol, LDL, and blood pressure all of which relate to heart disease.

Phytochemicals:

  • These help the body to stay healthy by acting as a support to many body functions.

Energy Density:

  • Low in calories and thus maintains a healthy body weight.
  • They are nutrient dense and hence provides many micronutrients which nourishes optimal growth and development of body.

In addition to these vegetables are low in sugar, sodium, and fat.

Few vegetables are high in water content from 85 – 95% and thus act as a good source of hydration.

Also are rich in Antioxidants hence slows down aging and fights against damage cells.

One should have around 400 – 450 gm vegetables per day.

Health Benefits:

  • Boosts Heart health.
  • Helps in weight management as having low calorie density, rich in fibre which helps to feel satiety and hence reduces appetite. But this will be when we will consume non starchy vegetables.
  • Maintains Blood glucose levels – Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes. Being rich in fibre helps to improve insulin sensitivity. These contain antioxidants which reduces the oxidative stress that will prevent sugar from entering the body cells. Especially cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of cancers like colorectal cancer, lung cancer.

How to consume vegetables:

  • Fresh vegetables are the healthiest as the nutrition degrades during spoilage and transportation.
  • Frozen vegetables should be avoided as they are ripe and have already lost the nutrient content from 20 -80% during blanching in hot water.
  • Canned vegetables also lose the nutrition value during processing. They are dipped in salt or sugar. They may also contain traces of a chemical named Bisphenol -A (BPA) which results in poor fertility, heart disease and diabetes.
  • By consuming juices if we filter it then the fibres will be removed which is not healthy then as compared to fresh vegetables.

For 2000 calorie diet the RDA per day is:

Nutrition Value of Vegetables

Conclusion:

  • Loaded with nutrients like vitamins, fibres, and minerals.
  • Helps in reduces the risk of diseases like heart, diabetes, obesity, and cancers.
  • To get maximum benefits we should consume 3-4 portions per day.
  • Fresh vegetables should be preferably consumed as they are high in nutrients then rather than canned or processed vegetables.

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