How to Eat Healthy – Why Vegetables Are So Important For You and How to Get Their Maximum Benefit
It’s common knowledge that vegetables are one of the key ingredients of a healthy diet. Experts even recommend that we eat at least five portions of about 80 g vegetables or fruit per day. But why? How do these vegetables keep you healthy? And did you know most of them are excellent foods for people who want to lose weight?
Why are vegetables one of the top healthy foods?
They are nutrient dense foods.
They contain mainly complex carbohydrates.
They are high in fiber. Key #1 how to eat healthy: Eat nutrient dense foods
Vegetables are nutrient dense foods. They contain plenty of vitamins and minerals which will keep your body healthy, but rather few calories. That means they give you plenty of health benefits because they mostly give your body things it needs without containing excess calories.
Of course, this is only working when you prepare them in a healthy way:
Buy fresh vegetables which have the highest nutrient content.
Store them in a cool, dry and dark place and avoid storing them long. Many lose vitamins quickly, within days already, especially when they are exposed to light and heat.
When cooking, avoid adding fat or sugar to your vegetables.
If you do add fat, use only a little and choose healthy fats. Key #2 how to eat healthy: Eat foods with a higher percentage of complex carbohydrates
Besides vitamins and minerals, vegetables also contain mainly complex carbohydrates which are a much better energy source than the simple carbohydrates in fruit and refined grain products.
Complex carbohydrates keep your blood sugar level fairly constant and give you energy for a longer time. They are also very unlikely to be stored as fat, which is what happens when you eat excess simple carbohydrates. This helps prevent illnesses like diabetes and obesity.
Experts therefore recommend that you should prefer complex carbohydrates to simple ones. Make them part of your main meals and they will keep you going till the next meal. They also make great snacks.
Vegetables especially high in complex carbohydrates are:
corn Key #3 how to eat healthy: Eat high fiber foods
Vegetables are also high in fiber which fills you quicker and longer on the one hand and keeps your digestive system balanced and well functioning on the other hand. This will leave you healthier in general, feeling better and much less likely to gain weight. These foods should form part of your daily diet for maximum benefit.
High fiber vegetables are for example:
How to get the most health benefit from your vegetables
If you want to get the maximum benefit from eating vegetables, make sure that you don’t only eat enough of them every day, but also choose a wide variety of vegetables over the course of the week. Remember that not every vegetable contains every vitamin and mineral.
It’s also important to combine your vegetables with other healthy foods which contain other nutrients like proteins.