If you are a hard-core non-vegetarian, chances are that you rarely include vegetables in your daily diet. But if you want to maintain a healthy weight or want your weight loss effort to be a success, including vegetables and fruits in your diet is essential.
Fruit and veggies are packed with the minerals and vitamins your body needs to function optimally and are also rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants protect you from heart diseases and cancer. According to the new Australian Dietary Guidelines, you should include two fruits and five vegetables or legumes daily.
So, let’s see why exactly they are so beneficial for you.
Source of good fibre:
They are an excellent source of fibre, which is critical to healthy digestion. They also help in lowering your cholesterol. Eating fruits and vegetables will keep you full, helping you cut down on your food cravings. This in turn may aid in weight loss.
Packed with vitamins and minerals:
You should include vegetables and fruits in your diet because they provide you with many micronutrients, including:potassium, which helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure; folate, which is important for expectant mothers to help prevent spina bifida; Vitamin A, which is good for the eyes and Vitamin C, which helps in absorption of iron.
Low in fats and calories:
As fruits and vegetables are low in fats and calories, they help in maintaining a healthy weight.
For example, , if you consume 400 empty calories from oil, it will not leave you satiated- you would still be left hungry. However, if you load yourself with 400 calories from lean chicken, you will receive more satisfaction from the food, but there will still be room in your stomach for food. But if you fill your stomach with 400 calories worth of fruits and vegetables, your stomach would be jam packed with nutrient dense foods, leaving little room for more food to be consumed. This is why it is imperative to consume fruits and veggies for weight management and as part of a healthy diet.
You can eat your vegetables raw, cooked, frozen or canned. However, it is best to eat them fresh as they retain their nutritional integrity. It is really important to keep your diet varied and include as many colours as possible. The more colours you have on your plate, the better. Mix it up, as each colour will give you a different nutrient.
Be sure to get the portion size right as well. Eating a portion of fruit or vegetable is far better than drinking it from a bottle. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and very little fibre, not doing any favours to your waistline. Be sure to make an effort to stick to eating your fruits and veggies as opposed to drinking them.
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