Vegetables in Grocery Store

You probably remember your parents telling you that you need to eat your vegetables from the moment that your memories start. It has been known for a long time that if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, then you need to eat your vegetables. As it turns out your mom was right, but what is the reason that vegetables are so important in your diet? Besides the fact that you will find a lot of nutrients in vegetables there are also other reasons that they should be a permanent part of your diet and here are a few of those reasons.

Blood Pressure

According to the USDA, a diet which contains a lot of potassium will help a person maintain a healthy blood pressure. The potassium that you need can be best ingested by eating vegetables and fruits such as white beans, potatoes, tomatoes, soy beans, spinach, lima beans, kidney beans and lentils. When you consume the vegetables from the produce department as opposed to a can you will also be consuming less sodium. While you can find canned vegetables which are low in sodium, it is always a better choice to use fresh vegetables to ensure that you get most of the nutrients and less of the sodium you need to avoid when you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Cancer Prevention

While it is still being researched, the National Cancer Institute says that research conducted until now is showing that some vegetables known as cruciferous vegetables are showing cancer prevention benefits.  The reason these vegetables are showing such promise is that they contain glucosinolates. The glucosinolates break down and form compounds which are showing the anti-cancer effects. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, arugula, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, kale, horseradish, turnips, cauliflower, watercress, wasabi, and collard greens. The effects they have in the body once they are digested include a protection of the cells from damage, anti-inflammation, tumor cell migration and cell death. While research has not been conducted for every type of cancer it has shown prevention benefits for several types.

Decrease of Childhood Obesity

We all know that the more vegetables that we eat, the lesser of a chance we have to become obese. That is true in children as well, but do you know the reason why? A study by the State University of New York at Buffalo showed that not only were both the parent and the child eating healthier, but they also reduced the intake of unhealthy, sugary foods once they increased their vegetable and fruit intake. When compared to those parents who decreased their fat and sugar consumption, the ones who added the vegetables actually fared better; by increasing the vegetable intake for your children in most cases means doing the same for yours.

How to Eat Them

Eating vegetables is a lot more useful when you eat them right. What that means is that you will get the most out of your vegetable consumption when you eat them raw. The reason for that is that there are a lot of nutrients which are destroyed when you cook them. That is particularly true of water soluble nutrients. If you need to cook your vegetables then you may want to avoid boiling and go with steaming, poaching or microwaving them as most of the nutrients will remain in the food after the process.

Last Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012