Health benefits of vegetables; an overview
A vegetarian diet is replacing a non-vegan diet like meat and fish with fresh vegetables in your daily foods. People around the world are switching to a vegetarian diet for the sake of good health. In some parts of the world, people avoid non-vegan diets due to religious and environmental reasons. There is a bundle of benefits if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet as a part of your daily routine. It helps to protect the body from life-threatening chronic diseases.
This article will provide you with 10 science-backed benefits of following a vegetarian diet.
1. Protection from heart diseases
The main cause behind heart disease is the raised level of cholesterol in the blood. It is estimated that around 3 million heart problems are due to high levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol accumulates in the blood vessels of the heart and reduces the blood flow to the heart muscle. Consequently, the load on the heart muscles increases and results in dangerous diseases like ischemic heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.
Cholesterol level increases because of the intake of more meat in the diet. Therefore replacing meat and poultry with a vegetarian diet decreases the cholesterol level and hence, promotes heart health. It has been observed that people including a largely vegetarian diet in their food habits lowered cholesterol levels to a great extent.
2. Prevent obesity
Obesity is caused by the accumulation of a large amount of fat in the body. It creates medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes risk, and liver disease. Apart from medical problems, obesity also affects the self-confidence of an individual. Eating fatty foods such as chicken and beef increases the fat level and weight of the body. Vegetables contain fibres that enhance the excretion of extra calories and fats from the body and help in fat metabolism. An observation study concluded that a vegetarian diet decreased their risk of obesity by 50%.
3. Normalise blood sugar
High blood sugar causes diabetes mellitus. Diet plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose of those people who are suffering from diabetes mellitus. Vegetables such as broccoli, have strong anti-diabetic effects. Broccoli enhances the function of insulin and makes it sensitive. In Northern America, Pumpkin is considered an anti-diabetic home remedy. Pumpkin contains a large number of polysaccharides which act to lower the sugar level. Similarly, okra is also a rich source of polysaccharides.
4. Minimise cancer risk
Some studies have suggested that green leafy vegetables may lower the risk of certain types of cancer. It is most effective against the cancerous cells found in the breast, stomach, and rectum. In several studies, it is found that carrots are associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Research showed that people, who include carrots in their foods, lowered their cancer risk by 20%, especially prostate cancer. Some vegetables such as potatoes and spinach have anti-oxidant properties, which inhibit oxidation reactions and minimise the number of free radicals. Free radicals destroy the cells of an organism and produce cancerous cells.
5. Healthy bone
Bone requires different vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium for proper function and structure. It maintains the density of the bones. These vitamins and minerals are found in large amounts in different green vegetables. Tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, and carrots are rich sources of these nutrients. These foods increase the strength of bones and mitigate the fragile fracture site.
6. Boost immunity
Vegetables boost and build up the immune system of the body. The nutrients present in different vegetables strengthen immunity. Red peppers are a rich source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are called the army of the body. It protects the body from infection and keeps us healthy. Similarly, the anti-oxidant vitamins found in many vegetables like broccoli and potatoes stop the oxidation reaction and reduce the number of free radicals and prevent the cells from being damaged. Garlic contains zinc and is used as a traditional remedy for the treatment of infections.
7. Improve Eyesight
Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and carrots, consist of a large amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential component of rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is found in the cornea of the eyes and is sensitive to light. Vegetables enhance the sensitivity of rhodopsin.
8. Needed for skincare
Vegetables keep skin fresh and smooth. Vegetables that consist of vitamin C are needed to protect the skin from sun rays. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can eradicate wrinkles from the skin and make it shiny.
9. To control high blood pressure
Studies have s shown that certain vegetables can reduce high blood pressure. Some vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and tomatoes, are the best source of potassium. Potassium is an element that plays a central role in lowering hypertension. Nitrates found in green vegetables help in the management of high blood pressure.
10. Needed to prevent hair growth
Hair needs vitamin A to stay healthy and grow. Green vegetables like kale, spinach, and pumpkin are all high in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in the production and growth of hair follicles, makes the hair strong, and promotes growth.
Plus get the inside scoop on our latest content and updates in our monthly newsletter.