Mom was right: Eat your veggies!
Despite the positive effects that vegetables have for the human body, the latest data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that a considerable amount of the U.S. population falls short of the suggested daily intake of vegetables. About half of Americans eat less than 1.5 cups per day, and 87 percent don’t reach the recommended minimum goal of 2 to 3 cups per day.
“Eating more vegetables can help give you more energy and generally make you feel better throughout your day,” says Dr. Summer Hassan, a family medicine resident at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “If you have been feeling ‘blah’ or off, then maybe evaluate how much of your diet has been vegetables. Plus, vegetables are lower in calories, so you generally eat more of them before you hit caloric goals.”
Cynthia Sass, a nutritionist and registered dietitian who writes for Health.com, recently shared why she believes veggies are imperative to everyone’s diet. Sass wrote that veggies can help with the following:
- Bring out your physical beauty. They give skin a “natural glow” by brightening skin pigment, helping to improve circulation and keeping skin wrinkle-free.
- Boost happiness. Veggies help you feel more energized, calmer and happier.
- Support workouts. They boost endurance and calorie burn, and also help support body recovery after exercise.
- Lower the risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
- Prevent constipation. Natural fiber found in most vegetables strengthens the gastrointestinal muscle to push waste through the body faster.
- Boost everyday energy. Antioxidants in veggies help with circulation, immunity, mood, digestive health, blood sugar and insulin regulation.
- Lose weight without dieting. Veggies carry lots of fiber, which allow you to feel full with less calories. Try swapping out a cup of starchy foods for a cup of veggies in your diet.
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