Vegetables for health
According to the guidelines, you should eat a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
Very few people meet this target, and miss out on one of the most potent ways of improving health and preventing disease.
Veggies' vital nutrients
Vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C and some B vitamins. These help to keep your skin and eyes healthy and your bones strong, and help fight infection. They work with other vitamins and minerals to keep muscles healthy.
In addition, vegetables are an excellent source of potassium and of fibre, which plays an important role in the diet: studies show a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease in those countries where a high-fibre diet is the norm.
Fibre also helps to keep the intestinal tract in good working order and may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. In addition, a high-fibre diet is often low in fat while providing a feeling of satiety, or fullness, without adding unnecessary calories. Because of this quality, fibre can play an important role in weight control (see Facts about fibre).
What is a serving?
- 3 heaped tbsp cooked carrots, peas, or diced swede
- 1 corn-on-the-cob
- 8 Brussels sprouts
- 1 cereal bowl of salad leaves
- 1 medium or 7 cherry tomatoes
- 5cm (2in) piece of cucumber
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