Every home needs vegetables

Vegetables are good for you, really good for you, and here’s why…

Let’s face it, every child on the planet has heard their parents say – “Eat your vegetables!”. Everyone knows on some level that vegetables are good for you, even if they are the reason children glare balefully at their parents over a pile of peas. But why are they good for you? What value do they add that, for example, a multivitamin pill cannot?

First of all, pills don’t include fibre. The fibres that can be found in vegetables help you to digest your food more efficiently and keep your gut in optimum health. Root vegetables have soluble fibres that can cut down on cholesterol, improve gut productivity (you’ll go to the toilet more regularly) and are like the oil that the car engine needs to keep turning smoothly. Insoluble fibres can be found in nuts and seeds or whole-wheat foods and these help your bowels stay healthy. It may not be the most savoury of topics, but the benefits to your overall energy levels and health are extraordinary.

Not only do fruit and veg add fibre, but they have been proven to reduce your risk of suffering from a variety of life-threatening diseases. Ailments such as cancer, heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, strokes, eye problems and digestive problems can be managed and even prevented by a diet that is high in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Need more? Thanks to the fact that most vegetables are low in calories, they can help you manage your weight more efficiently. You can eat more of them if you are hungry and you won’t suffer the same side effects that you’d get if you ate more, say, doughnuts or cake to satisfy your hunger. They are a quick and easy snack, they come in tons of different flavours and the minerals and vitamins packed into every bite can be used by your body to repair cells, fight off flu and even build muscle.

In the United Kingdom, the government introduced a system known as Five a Day. This system is designed to ensure that every person gets at least five fruit and veg a day – the minimum needed for a healthy lifestyle. The size of a portion is based on the size of the person’s fist. So, if it is a child, they will need five child-sized portions of fruit and veg, a woman will need slightly more, and a man even more than that. If you use these simple measures and numbers, then you will be providing your body with exactly the right support it needs to keep you going through the stressful days of work, and enjoying the relaxing days of your holidays.