“Eating loads of fruit and vegetables - 10 portions a day - may give us longer lives, say researchers. The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.”The recent UK research trial compared health outcomes of those who ate 200g veggies/ day (½ daily recommendation) with those who ate 800g/ day (twice daily recommendation.) The results were significant.
Eating a large amount of Vegetables and fruit increases your fibre intake which is a huge determinant of the health of your gut microbiota (micro-organisms living in your intestines).
A healthy microbiota has been linked with improved immunity, better mental health, healthier weight outcomes and a decrease in inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.
Consuming a variety of different vegetables exposes us to a wider range of nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which play a role in important physiological functions in your body.
These substances include cancer preventing glucosinolates, detoxifying indole 3 carbinoles, and polyphenols from brassicae veggies such as broccoli and cabbage, antimicrobial, anti fungal properties of garlic and onions, antioxidant properties of beta carotene from carrots and pumpkins, and antimutagenic properties of folate in leafy greens. The list goes on and on and on!
Vegetable consumption reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure and boosts the health of our blood vessels and immune system. Vegetable consumption helps you stay lean.
Vegetables are possibly the only food group that does not attract controversy. Everyone agrees that veggies are healthy (from Paleo to DASH, Mediterranean to Fasting and obviously Vegan and Vegetarian) and there is a plethora of research to back up the claims.
So, the obvious solution to a prolonged, healthier life? Eat more veg! Obviously start wiht the 5 serves a day and as long as you are not displacing protein and healthy fats, increase your intake further.
Plant based proteins count as vegetables in this study so eat legumes and soy based proteins.
And while you are at it do not forget your quinoa, buckwheat and other whole grains.
1 serve of vegetables = 80g/ ½ cup veggies or 1 cup salad
Want some recipes? You’ve come to the right place. Book in for the Vegetarian cooking class this Thursday 2 March at 6pm.