We know that eating fruits and vegetables is key for good health, but that doesn’t mean that we are actually getting enough. A study published in 2015 found that only one in ten Americans is actually enough as many vegetables as they are supposed to. That’s certainly not everyone, and even if you are that means that some of your friends are not.
The recommended dietary guidelines suggest that every adult eat two to three cups of vegetables each day, as well as one and half to two cups of fruit. Sound like a lot of fiber and bulk? It’s supposed to. When you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables you are going to get fuller faster because of the volume, and then stay fuller longer thanks to the fiber. This means there is a higher chance that you are going to get the nutrients that you need from all the fruits and vegetables and have less room to snack on all of the things that you don’t need in your diet.
Getting plenty of fiber has been shown to regulate the blood sugar, stabilize the blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and protect the heart and the cardiovascular system. As much as we might not like to talk about our bathroom habits, fiber is one of the best things that you can add to the diet when you need to get things moving. This does more than just relieve comfort and keep you feeling regular, it also helps to keep the bacteria in the gut balances which can cut down on unnecessary bloating and discomfort.
Vegetables are also crucial for athletic recovery. One study found that tomato juice for example, can reduce exercise-induced stress on the body by as much as 84 percent. Another study found that men who drank beet juice daily could increase their cycling endurance by as much as 16 percent.
Vegetables can also be helpful for boosting your energy levels in general, especially if you are eating them to replace less healthy things in your diet such as refined carbs and sugars.
One study found that eating an extra serving of leafy green vegetables each day could cut down the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 14 percent. Some studies also say that eating leafy green vegetables can activate a gene in the body called T-bet, which helps to produce immune healthy cells in the digestive system. This might help to increase the immunity in the body as well as cut down on inflammation.
It’s important to get a wide variety of vegetables in your diet since they all have different nutrients and antioxidants. Purple vegetables for example are high in antioxidants called anthocyanins which have been found to reduce the risks of developing a lot of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological dysfunction. Cruciferous vegetables on the other hand, have been found to inhibit cancer growth.