Importance of Veggies

February 14, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

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Importance of Vegetables


The average person gets three servings of vegetables a day, which is far less than the recommended five to 13 servings, Eating vegetables can help you prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy blood pressure, prevent certain types of cancer and even prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Still, people do not eat enough vegetables.


Vegetables are low-fat, low-calorie and contain no cholesterol, according to the Department of Agriculture’s . Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A, E and C, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Potassium is essential in controlling blood pressure. Folic acid helps form red blood cells in the body. Vitamin A is essential for skin and eye health. Vitamin C helps the body heal cuts and wounds and keeps gums and teeth healthy. Vitamin E guards vitamin A and essential fatty acids from cell oxidation.

Cardiovascular Health

People who eat more vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease or stroke. According to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public health, persons who eat more than five servings of leafy green vegetables such as spinach, greens, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have a 20 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with those who ate fewer than three servings per day.

Gastrointestinal Health

Vegetables provide fiber, which aids in digestion. Fiber soaks up fluid and expands as it passes through the digestive system. This action calms an irritable bowel and provides relief from constipation. The softening and bulking action of the insoluble fiber in vegetables also prevents diverticulosis and diverticulitis by decreasing pressure within the intestinal tract.


The vitamin A in vegetables maintains the health of your eyes. Carrots keeps your night vision sharp. The lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach protect your eyes from free radicals–air pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight–that over time can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.

Other Health Benefits

Eating vegetables can reduce your risk for diabetes, prevent kidney stones and decrease or prevent bone loss, according to the MyPyramid website. Vegetables also are a great low-calorie substitute for high-calorie foods or snacks.

How to Eat More

Keeping fruit in plain sight increases the likelihood you will eat it. Keep it either in front of the refrigerator or on a countertop. Include a vegetable with every meal, at least half of your plate. Have a few veggie snacks throughout the day. Try a new vegetable to avoid getting into a veggie rut. Try out new recipes that mostly consist of vegetables. Skip the potatoes–they are not a vegetable, they are a starch.


– fwd: basil massey

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