by Jeanne Angleberger
The Value of Eating More Vegetables
Every new year gives us the opportunity to begin a healthy lifestyle. It is an individual choice. What can I do to improve my health?
Let’s start the new year researching the value of eating vegetables. We know vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet; they supply us with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring compounds.
There are many benefits when increasing your daily intake of vegetables: they are low-calorie (only about 25 calories per cup, raw); they are low in sugar; and they provide a rich source of antioxidants.
Research recommends we aim to consume two to three cups daily. Studies show that people who eat more vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, as well as a reduced risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Variety is the key. It’s better to include several types of vegetables since each one contains a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Making colorful vegetables (red, yellow, green, orange, purple) a regular part of your diet ensures a good variety.
You can also up your vegetable quota simply by adding them to prepared food. Soup recipes are a great way to get more in your diet. Pizza, casseroles, burgers, meat loaf, and scrambled eggs are more nutritious when adding your favorite vegetable.
Think outside the box! Start searching the vegetable category. You’ll be surprised how many vegetables await your discovery.