NUTRIENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS
Antioxidants: Did you know that including vegetables in your diet is probably the easiest way to stay healthy, trim and nourished? Since vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, they help you to stay in optimum health over the long term by keeping your weight in check. According to a recent study, plant-based foods contain antioxidants (polyphenols) that may improve blood sugar in people at risk for diabetes and heart diseases.
As mentioned earlier, vegetables have abundant levels of antioxidants that prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Dark green vegetables have lots of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are essential for the proper functioning of your body. Deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals can lead to serious deficiencies of your bones, teeth, and vital organs. Moreover, antioxidants boost the immunity and keep from developing infections and diseases. Leafy green vegetables have a bioflavonoid known as ‘Quercetin’. This is responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of vegetables along with its unique, anticancer properties. Quercetin also effectively cuts down the flow of substances that lead to allergies. This compound plays the role of an inhibitor of mast cell secretion, thereby decreasing the release of interleukin-6. Most of the green, yellow and orange vegetables also have a high percentage of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B-complex, vitamin A, vitamin-C, vitamin K, zeaxanthin, α and β carotenes and crypto-xanthins.
Dietary Fiber: Vegetables are a great option for consuming dietary fibre. Owing to the high percentage of fibre level in vegetables, your digestive track stays well toned. Vegetables are abundant insoluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre, known as non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). This dietary fibre absorbs the extra water in your colon and thereby retains the moisture content in the faecal matter. This aids in digestion, preventing chronic constipation, haemorrhoids, rectal fissures, and diarrhoea. Your digestive system becomes sleeker and its ability to process foods becomes smoother, keeping many ailments away. Eating more fibre-rich foods keep your digestive system clean and healthy, helping you to avoid problems like constipation, bowel irregularity, colon cancer, and even polyps. Since they have high fibre, vegetables also tend to make you feel full for longer, and prevent unnecessary snacking, thereby helping you to reduce weight.
Cancer Prevention: Cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli have high amounts of indoles and isothiocyanates. These components have protective properties against colon cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and some other types of cancers. Broccoli sprouts have immensely higher sulforaphane than the matured broccolis, which is a cancer-protective substance. Furthermore, as said before, since vegetables are great antioxidants, they also alleviate the chances of fatal diseases like cancer.
Proteins and Amino Acids: If you eat fewer animal products in your diet, you must ensure that your diet is high in protein-rich vegetables to compensate for the proteins that you are missing. Once you have the correct combination of vegetables in your meals, you will gain ample amount of amino acids that are required to live healthily. Eat plenty of beans and spinach, along with whole grain rice for a balanced meal.
Water Content: Vegetables naturally have high levels of water. This is the reason why they are generally fat-free and low in calories. You can rest be assured of both your weight and health once you start on a vegetable-rich diet. The more you consume vegetables, the more the water intake that flushes out waste products and toxins from your body.