If you’re not a fan of veggies, then you may be wondering if they’re really necessary for meeting your nutritional requirements. Is there a way to eat other foods and still get all the nutrients you need without having to come anywhere near spinach or carrots? This isn’t a silly question. Less than 10 percent of American adults regularly meet their daily recommended vegetable intake every day.
Are Veggies Essential to Nutritional Requirements?
Though many people would love it if they could get their nutritional requirements without having to meet many – or any – vegetables, the odds are that you just won’t get everything you need for optimal health without them. There are simply too many nutrients in vegetables that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Vegetables help you to meet your nutritional requirements for vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients, fiber, and all in a package that is typically very low in calories. These whole foods are among the best things that you can add to your plate in order to make sure you consume everything you need, and keep up a faster metabolism, particularly without overeating by a tremendous amount.
Yes, You Need to Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables are nutrient dense but are also low in calories. This helps you to get your nutrition without consuming far too many calories and sending your weight skyward.
Studies show that diets that are high in veggie content also reduce the risk of certain cancers, obesity, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Stated more clearly, the more you meet your daily servings of vegetables, the lower your risk of those health conditions.
A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Cancer examined 156 studies. It determined that people with a low vegetable consumption level every day have twice the risk of a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime when compared to people who eat a higher number of veggie servings every day.
A systematic review published in the Nutrients journal determined that people who eat at least four daily servings of vegetables have an 82 percent lower risk of obesity.
Tips to Help Eat More Vegetables Every Day
If you find it hard to eat that many vegetables each day, use these tips to make it easier:
- Start with greens – Begin every meal with a salad. This could be a traditional green leafy salad, mixed green salad, or even a mixed green veggie salad including broccoli. This will mean that every meal will be a powerhouse of nutrients and will also help to fill you up so you won’t need to eat as much during the rest of your meal.
- Make every other snack a vegetable – By making a rule that every other snack has to be a veggie, even your snack time will help to contribute to meeting your nutrition requirements.
- Make them a main – Instead of making vegetables a side dish, incorporate them into your main dish. That way, you won’t think of them as something separate.