Benefits Of Vegetables

Low in calories, but rich in nutrients and antioxidants, the benefits of vegetables are indispensable in a healthy diet. 

Below, we will analyze their nutritional characteristics and discover what properties make them so important for a balanced nutrition.

Nutritional characteristics of vegetables

With the exception of seeds and tubers, vegetables have a low energy intake (on average about 20-30 kcal per 100 g). 

salad Vegetables

Their caloric content corresponds almost entirely to simple carbohydrates, while proteins and fats play only a marginal role.

Vegetables are also rich in water (up to 95% of their weight). 

They also have an excellent amount of fiber, which, although it has no nutritional value in itself, is essential for the regulation of many physiological functions.

The consumption of vegetables in the main meals is also a contribution of vitamins and minerals. 

Among the vitamins most commonly found in vegetables are those of groups A, C, E and K, but also folates, in which leafy vegetables are rich. 

In terms of salt content, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium stand out. 

Iron and calcium are also usually present in vegetables, although in a poorly bioavailable form.

Vegetables in the diet

Regular consumption of vegetables brings considerable benefits to the body. 

The abundance of water, for example, rehydrates the body and favors the maintenance of salt balance.

The richness in fiber gives vegetables additional properties. 

tostadas

In addition to regularizing the bowel and promoting satiety, fiber improves metabolic function by slowing digestion and prolonging the absorption time of sugars.

The presence of vitamins and other substances such as antioxidants helps reduce the formation of free radicals responsible for cellular aging.

It is important to start including them in child nutrition, to create the habit from an early age. 

Tips and suggestions on vegetables in the diet

As we have seen, vegetables have several positive effects on the organism. Bringing them to the table daily, up to two or three servings a day, is the secret to maximizing their benefits.

To fill up on vitamins and nutrients, it is important to consume different types of vegetables. To simplify, vegetables can be classified by color

Red vegetables are rich in lycopene and vitamin C, while yellow-orange vegetables provide carotene and anthocyanins.

Vegetables

White vegetables have a good quercetin content and green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of magnesium, folic acid and folate.

Remember that an excellent alternative to fresh produce are frozen vegetables. 

The future is 300g

EFSA recommends a serving of 80g of vegetables, which is roughly equivalent to a handful, or 3 tablespoons. 

The EAT-Lancet recommends 3 servings of 100g of vegetables of different colors per day. However, it may be easier to think of a daily serving of 300g of vegetables made up of four smaller, differently colored portions.

So 300g would be four small handfuls of vegetables per day.

Vegetables with high nutritional content

Spinach

Anyone suffering from iron deficiency will definitely need to eat spinach. It is undoubtedly the vegetable that contains the most iron, as well as vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C.

In addition, one of the fundamental components of spinach is tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates attention and improves reflexes.

Carrots

Not just for tanning! Carrots are best known for their beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, which stimulates the production of melanin, improving skin color.

Antioxidant function, fighting free radicals and strengthening the immune system;

regulation of intestinal function and in case of colitis problems.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the vegetables richest in mineral salts, an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium

broccoli

In addition, thanks to the many vitamins contained in broccoli, it helps to control hypertension, osteoporosis and constipation.

Not many, however, know that broccoli is a valid support even in case of inflammation of the respiratory tract.

Garlic

Although not easily digestible for many people, garlic is actually one of the strongest allies of our body.

Starting with infections: it is known, in fact, that garlic is a powerful antibacterial and natural antibiotic, useful in respiratory tract infections. 

It also has a great purifying action on the liver, acts as a natural antiseptic for intestinal disorders and also has a positive influence on the heart.

Kale

Kale, also called kale, is considered an energy-rich food despite its low caloric intake.

Among its major benefits is the control of hypertension , thanks to the high concentration of potassium. 

In addition, polyunsaturated lipids counteract excess fat in the blood, effectively counteracting hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia.

Asparagus

It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. One of the most particular aspects concerns the reserve of chromium, a mineral that enhances the task of insulin.

Another characteristic element of asparagus is the presence of asparagine, a powerful diuretic that favors the elimination of sodium

For this reason, people who suffer from fluid retention will have real benefits by taking asparagus regularly.

Ginger

It is a root with a spicy flavor that is used with various health benefits for the body.

  • It counteracts nausea when taken.
  • Draining effect, so it is excellent for fighting cellulite.
  • They control the level of cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing strokes and heart disease.
  • Natural anti-inflammatory action: taking ginger as an infusion or cooked ginger relieves and improves sore throat pain.
  • It effectively counteracts halitosis.

Watercress

Watercress is a plant whose leaves are often found inserted in mixed salads, to which they give a typical slightly spicy flavor.

watercress

Despite its low caloric intake, 100 grams of watercress prove to be a very potent source of vitamin A, essential for eyesight, vitamin B, the absence of which often causes irritability, fatigue and exhaustion, and vitamin K, used in the clotting process and bone health.

Lettuce

Each variety of lettuce has specific properties, due both to its botanical nature and to the methods and places of cultivation.

In general, some of these benefits are common to all types of lettuce. In addition to being always indicated in hypocaloric diets, lettuce has a natural soothing property that favorably affects the vascular system.

However, lettuces have an important contraindication, which however can be easily controlled with a simple dossier. 

If grown in excessively fertilized soils, lettuces can be contaminated with nitrates, which in the human body are transformed into nitrites, toxic substances for our organism.

Conclusions

Luis Isaías presents a guide on the importance of consuming vegetables for a healthy diet, from which we can conclude the following: 

  • Vegetables have few calories, but are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
  • No single vegetable provides all the nutrients we need to be healthy. 
  • That is why it is so important that we not only eat more vegetables, but eat them in all colors.

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