Your parents had the right idea when they encouraged you to eat your vegetables. Veggies are filled with vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that help keep your body healthy and functioning properly. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a vegetable-rich diet may lower your risk of developing chronic health issues such as type-2 diabetes, eye and digestive problems, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.
Vitamin B Complex Vegetables
The vitamin B complex includes B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-7, B-9 and B-12. B vitamins play an important role in keeping your body healthy. They promote growth and development, keep you skin and hair looking good, help your digestive system work properly and aid your body in the production of red blood cells. B vitamins also help break down carbs and protein and help make hormones. Leafy greens, potatoes, mushrooms, peas and dried beans are good sources of B vitamins. Serve these veggies in soups, salads, omelets or stews.
A diet rich in fiber may lower your blood cholesterol, aid in the proper functioning of your bowels and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Fiber-filled veggies tend to make you feel full, which may help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Lentils, peas, beans, squash, beets and carrots are some vegetables that have a moderate to high fiber content. Serve fiber-filled vegetables in stews, soups or as sides for your lunch or dinner.
Eating vegetables that contain potassium may help you maintain a healthy blood pressure level and may also reduce hypertension in some individuals. A lack of potassium in your diet may lead to kidney issues and to muscle cramping during fitness training and workouts. Potatoes, winter squashes, legumes, avocados, celery, spinach, greens and tomatoes all contain over 300 milligrams of potassium per serving. Cook and eat your potatoes with the skins on to increase the amount of potassium in your diet.
Vitamin C Vegetables
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your body from damage from free radicals resulting from radiation, tobacco smoke and air pollution. Your body needs vitamin C to heal wounds, repair and maintain healthy bones and teeth and to promote normal growth and development. Vegetables that contain vitamin C include onions, kale, red peppers, sweet potatoes and green beans. Serve these vegetables in soups and salads, as side dishes or in sauces.
- American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Vegetables: Why Is It Important to Eat Vegetables?
- Colorado State University Extension: Potassium and the Diet
- Office of Dietary Supplements National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin C
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: Vegetables and Fruits -- The Bottom Line