We’ve all heard the saying “eat your vegetables”, but why? Vegetables have secret powers that can help you live longer. In 2017, after analyzing 20 years of research, a review in The Lancet found that poor diets caused 11 million deaths across the globe. A poor diet meant consuming more salt, sugar and fat and less vegetables, nuts and seeds, which lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer. In fact, most people do not reach the recommended three to five servings of vegetables per day. Here are three secretive powers of vegetables that are big contributors to a healthy lifestyle and longer life.
1. Veggies Are Packed with Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Your Health.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for our normal growth and function. Because our bodies do not produce these essential nutrients, we get them from the food we eat, specifically vegetables. Vitamins and minerals drive many of our body’s metabolic processes, breaking down food to produce energy or create new molecules.
There are thirteen different types of vitamins that your body absolutely needs: vitamin A, C, D, E, K and eight B vitamins. Each vegetable has its own concoction of vitamins and minerals. Spinach has vitamin A which can help keep your eyes and skin healthy while protecting against infections. Vitamin C in cauliflower and broccoli is crucial for strong bones and teeth, plus helps muscles, nerves and glands function normally.
Magnesium, a mineral, is found in peas, spinach, squash, kale, potatoes, cabbage and more. Magnesium helps muscles and nerve function, supports your immune system, and regulates blood pressure. Another important mineral is iron, which is needed for healthy blood and normal functioning of all cells.
2. Fiber in Vegetables Nourish Your Gut.
Here at Natural Recovery, we believe that your gut is your second brain. So, because vegetables are loaded with fiber, we incorporated seven vegetables into our greens drink to improve your gut health. Fiber, in basic terms, helps keep your digestive tract clean and running smoothly. In your arteries, fiber targets bad cholesterol and clears it out of your system, which can lower your risk of heart disease. Fiber is also known as a “prebiotic” which supplements the good bacteria in your gut, helping your body take in nutrients from your food. If you fill your gut with vegetables, the fiber can make you feel fuller for longer. That’s not all, though. Fiber has many other beneficial properties, such as reducing inflammation and strengthening your immune system, just to name a couple.
3. Vegetables Are Filled with Antioxidants that Protect Your Cells.
Although eating a healthy diet will prevent the risk of diseases in general, vegetables are filled with antioxidants, compounds that stop or delay the damage to your cells created by unstable free radicals. Many vegetables also contain high levels of carotenoids, vitamins, phenols, flavonoids and glutathionine which scavenge free radicals like antioxidants.
What’s a free radical? Created from various chemical reactions in the cell, free radicals are atoms that have a single unpaired electron in their outer ring. Free radicals search for an electron from other atoms to stabilize itself. However, having too many free radicals can damage atoms that make up important chemicals and structures in your body. Some experts believe this to be the cause of many diseases, because when these free radicals take an electron from an atom, it creates deterioration such as aging. Luckily, antioxidants and their lookalikes can give up electrons to stabilize free radicals, preventing damage to other important atoms. Antioxidants in vegetables protect against cellular damage, reduce inflammation through the body, and boosts your immune system which can all help prevent the risk of many diseases.
Bridging The Gap to a Healthier Diet
A poor diet was described as a higher intake of unhealthy foods and a lower intake of healthy foods. Eating a healthier diet isn’t necessarily cutting out every donut, chips and fried meal. It’s about bridging the gap between eating healthy foods and unhealthy foods. By adding more vegetables to your diet, your healthy food intake increases which helps lower the gaping divide between healthy and unhealty foods. If you are finding it difficult to add the needed variety of vegetables into your diet, Natural Recovery Greens contains seven nutrient-dense vegetables, plus probiotics, hemp extract and BCAAs, that can help you easily reach your recommended servings of vegetables.