Anyone who knows me knows that I am crazy about veggies. When I was little, my mom saw me happily devouring some fresh veggies, and commented how "lucky" I was to love veggies. At first I thought, "Huh?" But many years later, I get it. Although veggies are the key component for optimal health, many people struggle to get the recommended 6 servings. According to our health experts, they should occupy about half of your plate. It seems that no matter what diet program you prefer, veggies are the common thread. Wondering why they are such nutritional superstars?
1. It’s a key component for optimal health. Veggies are nutrient dense yet are so low in calories! They are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and phytochemicals, which protect your body from disease while helping you maintain ideal body weight. They create magic inside and outside the body.
2. It’s better for the environment: Yes! A plant-based diet was recommended for the American dietary guidelines in 2016 by an expert panel of scientists before special interest groups muddled the message. It is not only sustainable for us, but also for our planet as it reduces our carbon footprint. Also, we use less water and other valuable resources when we eat the plants directly and not feed them to animals.
3. It’s less expensive. Making sure that half of your plate is full of vegetables will crowd out some of the meat, which in turn will lower your grocery bill.
4. You will feel better. Veggies are loaded with fiber, which keeps your gut microbiome healthy and promotes regularity. Also, eating veggies give you sustained energy as they release their sugars gradually so they won’t spike your blood sugars.
5. They taste great! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how great veggies can taste! There are so many ways to prepare them that make them taste delicious. Cooked veggies are easier to digest for those with digestive issues. Raw veggies are a great go to snack. They can be part of any meal or snack to get to your 6 servings a day. Move over chips and French fries- hello side of veggies!
With so many health and environmental benefits, it's important to ensure veggies are part of a healthy eating pattern. During a 2010 research trial, investigators found that those with the highest levels of alpha-carotine (found in yellow,orange and dark green veggies) in their blood had a 39% lower risk of death from any cause, including heart diease and cancer- our two biggest killers. If someone created a pill promising those kind of benefits, my guess is that it would be a blockbuster, yet it just means filling half of your plate with veggies.
Still skeptical? Come to my Veggie Amour class to find ways to prepare veggies in ways that are delicious and satisfying. Or check out my website for delicious veggie recipes:
Need more support? Sign up for a complimentary health coach consultation so we can discuss the ways that a more veggie based diet can change your health outcomes! https://prairiehealthcompanion.com/pages/contact