Although fruits and greens are the ‘fountain of youth’ and have been proven to help slash your risk of chronic diseases, most Americans are not eating nearly enough of these natural, relatively cheap groceries.
Latest research data shows that closely 23% of the Americans have a median vegetable intake of just 1.6 times per day overall!
Pay attention that adding in more produce to your diet is a simple, yet powerful step, to dramatically improve your fitness. Vegetables are easy to prepare and come in so many different varieties that they can suit virtually everyone’s preferences.
Check out these newly-revealed health benefits, which are so dramatic that the researchers even call them “staggering.”
You lower your risk of dying prematurely by 42%
People on 7+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a high 42% lower risk of perishing from any cause, compared with those who eat less than 1 portion. They also enjoy a 31% decreases risk of heart disease, and a 25% lower risk of malign developments.
The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published a research to quantify the health benefits of eating different amounts of fresh produce. As you can guess, eating any amount of vegetables was better than none at all, but, expectedly, the benefits increased with more servings:
- people who ate 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits per day had a 36% lower risk of dying from any cause
- 3-5 servings per day were linked with a 29% lower risk
- 1-3 servings were linked with a 14% lower risk
Do you know what counts as a vegetable serving?
According to the U.S. government, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or fresh vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the Vegetable Group.
The study notably highlighted that vegetables had a larger protective effect than fruits. Consuming small portions of a wholesome fruit is just fine if you’re healthy, but you should place your focus on vegetables if you have a chronic ailment.
Optimal health does depend on eating large amounts of fresh vegetables
Eat large amounts of fresh, high-quality vegetables every day to achieve high-level health! Most vegetables are not very calorie-dense, and as a result, they probably should constitute the bulk of your diet.
Most vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting combinations that are very difficult to get from anywhere else. Especially not from highly-processed foods! Plant-based chemicals, called phytochemicals, can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, eliminate old cells, and maintain a healthy DNA.
Multiple studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have:
lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease,
lower risks of certain types of cancer,
reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss,
higher scores on cognitive tests,
higher antioxidant levels and lower biomarkers for oxidative stress.
The sweepstakes of vegetables
Vegetables have an impressive way of offering cool benefits to your health. When you eat them, you are getting dozens of super-agents that support optimal, body-wide health.
Here we have compiled a short review of the health benefits of vegetables. If you want to know more, this is an excellent place to start. Following is a sampling of fresh research showing the profound health benefits you can gain just by having more servings of vegetables:
- Sulforaphane in broccoli has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby striking to the root of tumor growth, and the broccoli compound glucoraphanin — a precursor to sulforaphane – boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.
- A gene that is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut, responds to the food you eat—specifically leafy greens.
- Cauliflower is a ‘treasure box’ of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in control, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
- Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It’s also known to fight inflammation, protect internal body organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.
Are you lacking dietary fiber? Vegetables may be the best answer!
Unless you regularly ‘tuck in’ whole fruits and vegetables (together with nuts and seeds), you may be missing out on the healthiest forms of fiber available. That could be a huge problem! It is actually because your body can’t digest fiber that plays such an important role in digestion.
Soluble fiber, like the one found in cucumbers and blueberries, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one sustained reason why fiber may help you with long-term weight control.
Insoluble fiber, found in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and only helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
One of the signs that a food is a natural source of fiber is that you must chew it a good number of times before sending it down the throat. Processed foods, which basically melt in your mouth, are not going to provide you with the fiber your body craves for. Vegetables, on the other hand, will, and this is yet another one of their virtues.
There’s no shortage of research showing how a high-fiber diet may boost your health. Some of its top potential benefits include:
- Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control.
- Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40% lower risk of heart disease.
- Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by seven percent.
- Weight loss: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people, likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness.
- Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
- Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40%.
- Hemorrhoids: A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
- Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
Do you include fermented vegetables in your diet?
You’d better start it ASAP for they are phenomenal for your gut health
There is more to your gut than a mere ‘food processing tube’. It actually houses about 85% of your immune system arsenal! This is in large part due to the 100 trillion bacteria that live there, both good and potentially harmful, that can stimulate your immune response. When your GI tract is not working well, a wide range of health problems can appear, including allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Remember this: If you suffer from any major illness, you simply will NOT be able to fully recuperate without a good ‘heal-and-seal’ of your gut!
Balancing the ‘zoo park’ of microorganisms that dwell in your GI tract is a key part of maintaining your immune health. One of the best ways to do this is by consuming fermented vegetables. Fermented vegetables are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of probiotics than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.
Beneficial gut bacteria have important tasks in vitamin production, mineral absorption, and helping prevent diabetes, digestive issues, neurological problems, cardiovascular disease, and even acne.
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Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health