Most kids are commanded to eat their fruits and vegetables while growing up. When you get older and there's no one to remind you, it becomes easy to forget. Knowing why vegetables are important for your health is one way to keep yourself motivated to make the effort to add them to your diet. Most of us know the main benefits of eating vegetables, such as the fiber they provide, the vitamins and minerals and antioxidants they deliver. But there are many surprising health benefits of vegetables that you may not have known. Here are 5 surprising health benefits of vegetables.
Reduced Stress Levels
Vegetables aren't famous for their ability to reduce stress and boost your mood but they should be. When you eat an unhealthy diet, it contributes to your stress levels. Unhealthy diet habits include eating too much oily food, caffeine, alcohol and sugars. Increasing consumption of vegetables adds fiber and much-needed nutrients to the diet. Healthy eating reduces cortisol levels whereas snacking on junk food increases it. Cortisol is a hormone responsible for many changes in the body. Too much of it can boost anxiety, weight gain and increase blood pressure. Keeping it in check means vegetables are potent mood boosters.
When people think of improving the state of their bones, the first thought that comes to mind is to drink more milk. For many, this isn't a viable option. Some can't tolerate milk at all due to lactose-intolerance. Others may not want to because they're vegan or don't want to consume the excess calories in whole milk. What most people don't know is that vegetables are also a great way to increase your bone mineral density. Milk has vitamin D, which helps the body absorb more calcium from the diet. Vegetables have been shown to increase the alkalinity of the body's environment. Helping maintain the body's pH so that it isn't too acidic is what prevents the bones from giving away their calcium to keep that balance. This way, bone mineral density stays strong.
The beauty industry makes billions of dollars every year by selling expensive products to give you a natural glow. Why not get the natural glow in a natural way? Many vegetables contain carotenoids, an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight the unnatural toxins, chemicals and harmful substances introduced in the body. By helping flush out these chemicals, the skin is cleared in a way superficial treatments can't. A study conducted on the effects of carotenoids also found that these antioxidants also add a healthy color to you glow. The study also found that the natural color induced by carotenoids was more attractive to people than a suntan. A suntan induces melanin pigments in the skin, which are brown. The carotenoids produced a softer, golden glow, which was found to be more attractive to participants because it indicates good health.
Vegetables contain many other antioxidants besides carotenoids. The thousands of antioxidants found naturally in vegetables. Some of these increase the production of collagen. Collagen is the substance that holds the skin together. It is what keeps the skin firm and supple. It decreases with age, causing wrinkles and sagging. Eating vegetables throughout your life can be more effective at keeping you wrinkle-free than botox, chemical peels and other expensive cosmetic procedures. Even if you've always been an unhealthy eater in the past, the effects of adding vegetables to your diet are apparent within weeks.
If your stomach is bulging out a little more than usual, stuffing it with vegetables can actually help sort it out rather than puff it out further. Everyone knows vegetables are good for digestion but most people don't know exactly what this entails or that it means having a flatter belly within days. Vegetables contain fiber that can't be digested by the body. This means the fiber is what makes the bulk of the food passing through your intestines. Without the fiber, the intestines get clogged. Food remains stuck in the stomach much longer than it should and causes the bloating. Vegetables help get things moving. If your body is not used to consuming vegetables at all, it's important to start by adding a little bit at a time. Eating too many at once startle the gastrointestinal system and cause further bloating by producing gas.
Vegetable fermentation is a great way to add flavor to vegetables for those who don't like eating them plain or in salads. Not only does fermentation add to the taste, it's good for you. If you're not familiar with the term, it's close to pickling vegetables with the added effect of boosting probiotics. You intestines contain bacterial colonies. This is an uncomfortable fact for some, but these bacteria are essential for digestion and good health. There are bacteria that are good for you and bacteria that can cause problems. Keeping the balance is the key to a healthy digestive tract. Fermentation helps boost the bacteria that are good for you. If you struggle with trying to get enough vegetables in your diet, try a whole-food green drink like Kylea's Total Living Drink Greens
that provides 5-7 servings of dark green vegetables per serving.