Do you want to live a long and healthy life? If so, then eat your vegetables! This may sound too simple or too easy, but it's really true. Moms everywhere were right, after all. Eating lots of vegetables can do amazing things to improve your health. If vegetables were sold in the pharmacy as medicine, they would be considered a wonder drug. Look at the ways that eating vegetables can help you be your best:
Vegetables Are Full of VitaminsYour body needs 13 different types of vitamins in order for you to feel and look great. You can get 11 out of the 13 vitamins from vegetables. Sure, you could pop a vitamin pill, but getting your vitamins straight from Mother Nature is always the best way. To ensure you are getting all the vitamin goodness your body craves, eat a variety of different vegetables every day.
Vegetables Are Good for Your MusclesForget about the mythical athlete who can survive on protein alone. Athletes need vegetables to perform at their peak. Veggies are packed with antioxidants, which rush in to repair the damage that you sustain when training, whether for the Olympic trials or at the corner gym. Three vegetables that are particularly good for athletes are beets, which help your body bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to your muscles; kale, which improves blood flow; and yams, which are a great source of complex carbohydrates that will give you energy.
Vegetables Reduce InflammationInflammation wrecks havoc in your body. Inflammation plays a role in many of the worst health problems of our time, including arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. So, anything that can help reduce inflammation would be more than welcome. Once again, vegetables save the day! You probably won't be surprised to hear that vegetables are fantastic warriors against inflammation. To put the most inflammation-fighting power on your plate, add more dark leafy green and cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and collard greens. Other powerhouse anti-inflammatories are peppers, beets, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Boost their anti-inflammatory power even more by seasoning with ginger or turmeric.
Vegetables Help You Lose WeightMost vegetables have very few calories. In fact, they are among the lowest calorie foods in existence. A cup of Romaine lettuce contains a mere eight calories. A cup of celery has only 16. You could eat these vegetables all day long, and still consume hardly any calories. And the more you fill up with veggies, the less you will be tempted to reach for the ice cream or some other high-calorie low-nutrient dish. Just be careful with what you put on top of your vegetables. To maintain their low-calorie goodness, go easy on the sauces, dressings, and butter. For all these reasons, and more, adding more vegetables to your daily diet is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to boost your health, improve your athletic performance, and get ready for swimsuit season.
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