Vegetables are one of the food groups important to human health.
This is because it contains very important nutrients such as fiber, potassium, folate, vitamins (A, C, E), and many others.
We can eat vegetables raw or cooked, fresh or frozen, including: zucchini, green pepper, artichokes, and asparagus, and others.
It is very important to eat vegetables, but the amount that the body needs varies from one person to another.
Based on several factors, including: age, gender, physical activity, and to eat enough quantities of them.
It is worth making sure that vegetables and fruits form half of the plate that the individual eats.
And we can say that an adult woman needs about 2-2.5 cups of vegetables per day, while A man needs 2.5-3 cups a day.
Types of vegetables (VEG) and their names
Dark green vegetables:
Dark green vegetables are an excellent source of many nutrients, which many studies point to its importance in reducing the risk of many types of cancer and promoting heart health.
We should note that the body needs few fatty sources to absorb some vitamins in vegetables.
You can achieve that by adding olive oil to the salad, for example, or eating it with a meal that contains light fats
Such as low-fat milk or cheese. Examples of these VEG are:
- Watercress: Has a sour taste, you can eat it raw in salads, or added to pizza, or sandwiches, or used to prepare pizza sauce, and it is very rich in vitamins (C, A) and calcium.
- Broccoli: Is a small, soft flower, and it is a rich source of fiber, vitamins (K, C, A), and folate. It eats raw, added to dishes or salads, or steamed.
- Spinach: Has a sweet taste, and it is rich in vitamins (A and K), folate, and iron. You can eat it raw in salads or cooked, and you can add to an omelette.
Red and orange vegetables:
Carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and red pepper are examples of red and orange vegetables.
These varieties contain many nutrients that are very beneficial to human health, such as vitamin A and potassium.
Beans and peas:
Chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans, and peas belong to this group, and are an excellent source of protein, as they contain iron and zinc in the same amount found in meat, poultry, and fish.
This makes this group belong to proteins, and their high fiber and potassium content makes them a member of the vegetable group as well
Corn, potatoes, green bananas, and water chestnuts belong to this group, and contain fiber.
And we can say that one cup of them contains at least 14% of the recommended daily value of fiber. And these VEG contain Manganese, magnesium, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin.
The importance of eating vegetables and fruits
Eating fruits and vegetables is important.
So it provides the body with many health benefits, and in the following, I mention some of them:
- Fruits and vegetables are an important part of the daily diet. So it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and folic acid. As it helps in maintaining the health of the body and preventing many diseases.
- Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and saturated fat, and most fruits and vegetables contain moderate amounts of sodium, so they help prevent obesity, maintain a healthy weight, reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, besides lowering high blood pressure.
- Vegetables and fruits contain active phytochemical, which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, eating fruits and VEG regularly reduces the risk of some diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, besides reducing the risk of some types of cancer, such as bowel cancer and lung cancer.
- Vegetables and fruits are a rich source of fiber that contributes to maintaining intestinal health, helps to feel full in the stomach, prevents constipation, and helps control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eating fruits and vegetables can help replace other foods that contain High content of fats, salts and sugar. This helps reduce the risk of developing diet-related diseases.
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The importance of some minerals and vitamins found in vegetables:
- Calcium: The calcium present in some types of VEG, such as spinach, contributes to maintaining the health of bones and teeth, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Potassium: The potassium found in some types of vegetables, such as broccoli and white potatoes, plays an important role in maintaining body cell functions and normal blood pressure. As a lack of potassium in the body can increase the risk of heart disease, blood vessels, stroke, and kidney stones.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C, which we find in many vegetables, plays. Cauliflower, broccoli, and pepper play an important role in building collagen protein, which maintains healthy skin and skin, and helps distribute oxygen to all parts of the body.
How to choose vegetables and preserve them?
The following points provide a set of tips for choosing and maintaining vegetables:
- Choose multiple types of vegetables and choose seasonal vegetables.
- Checking the freshness of green vegetables during purchase. The yellowish color shows the age of the vegetable.
- Choose fresh vegetables as much as possible, and frozen and canned vegetables can be healthy, but canned vegetables often contain a high percentage of sodium, and in this case we must wash them with cold water before use.
- Buy vegetables in small quantities so you can use them quickly. So that, after a certain time, bacteria grow on vegetables, and the vitamin C content in them decreases.
- Rinse all vegetables before eating them to get rid of insects. And you can use salt water for a few minutes to get rid of sand, dust, and remnants of chemical sprays and pesticides.
- Eat fresh vegetables to get maximum benefits. Except for some vegetables that need to cock to make them palatable, such as cauliflower and eggplant. As cooked vegetables, lose part of their benefits.
- We subject vegetables to oxidation when cut, which leads to a change in their color. However, the vegetables remain edible. However, we can stop the oxidation processes by adding citric acid to the surface areas of vegetables.
- Try to keep vegetables in dry and cool places, and freezing cooled and pre-cut pieces. Keeping vegetables in plastic or paper packaging and cooling them.
- Keep vegetables separate from other foods such as chicken, meat, and seafood.
Benefits of vegetables for the body
- The risk of diabetes: plant-based food contains antioxidants that improve blood sugar levels in people susceptible to it. They also prevent the growth of cancer cells, diseases, infections, cardiovascular problems, and they work to boost immunity.
- De-stress: Eating vegetables helps relieve depression and stress, and it also improves mood, and vegetables improve emotion in adolescents. Studies have shown that people who overeat when their mood is good to eat healthy foods.
- Regulating heart rate: Vegetables contain potassium, which works to regulate the heart rate and prevent irregularity. And among the most important vegetables that contain potassium in a high percentage are white potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and cooked vegetables.
- Strengthen teeth and bones: we should take 1200 mg of calcium daily, and vegetables contain calcium, which works to strengthen teeth and prevent osteoporosis. Among the most important vegetables that contain calcium are spinach, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and artichokes.
- Providing the body with energy: Vegetables are an important source of carbohydrates that provide the nervous system, brain and the entire body with energy, and they also contain fiber. It is a type of carbohydrate that the body does not digest, which leads to reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. Fiber also helps to improve digestive functions and maintain a healthy weight. Because it slows down the emptying of the stomach and fills it with food, which leads to a feeling of fullness for a longer period.
- Boosting immunity Vegetables contain vitamin (A), which works to enhance the body’s immunity, cell growth, reproductive health and safety of eyesight. Among the most important vegetables that contain vitamin A are sweet peppers, cowpea, spinach, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Ways to eat vegetables
There are many methods that we can follow to increase a person’s intake of vegetables, including:
- Preparing vegetable soup: As soup is an excellent way to eat over one serving of vegetables at once and adding a small amount of vegetables to any soup increases its nutritional value.
- Adding vegetables to sauces: Some sauces can prepare by mashing vegetables, adding a little spice to them, or you can add some vegetables, such as onions, carrots, or spinach to some ready-made sauces.
- Preparing juices: We are usually preparing Juices by mixing a little milk, ice, fruits, and water. But we can add some vegetables to juices without affecting their taste, such as mixing mango and peaches with ginger and kale.
- Grilling vegetables: Grilled vegetables are an excellent way to increase your vegetable intake, and peppers, onions, and tomatoes are good grill options.
- Adding vegetables to tuna salad: You can add vegetables to tuna salad prepared by mixing tuna with mayonnaise, including spinach and cucumber.
The most important vegetables and their benefits:
It contains vitamins (A – B1 – B2 – C – D – BBB) which are more than any type of vegetable.
It strengthens the eyesight and speeds up the growth of children. Calms the heart and nerve disorders. It benefits most of the slimming systems.
Also, benefit people with rheumatism and constipation.
It prevents people with diabetes to the abundance of sugar in it.
It expels worms from the intestine and consumes it raw (on an empty stomach). Makes it a kidney cleanser and gives the face a bright color – and it regulates the intestinal work and preserves the liver and eyes.
They contain more vitamin (A) and smaller amounts of vitamins (B1 – B2 – BB – C).
Useful for people with diabetes, kidney inflammation, obesity, heart, high blood pressure and constipation.
It is also good for children. People with heartburn, high acidity, and ulcers in the stomach and intestines advised to stay away from them – raw tomatoes cause bloating, pupil dilation and diarrhea.
A complete and fortified food – easy to digest.
Boiled potatoes are suitable for people with a weak stomach, dyspepsia, colic, and lack of jaundice and in slimming systems.
We give it to children from the ages of five and six and benefits those who make a great effort.
Potato juice quickly removes pain and opens the appetite – and increases weight – Potatoes contain vitamins (B – C) and trace amounts of vitamin (A) nutrient.
It contains reduced quantities of vitamins (B – A – C).
As for its leaves or more rich in its roots in vitamins, its benefits are that it is an appetizer – anti-digging and cold – and it strengthens the bones. And generates urine – its juice (on an empty stomach) against bile acids – and against liver attacks and sand.
Eating it after food helps with digestion and chest ailments, and is beneficial against whooping cough and intestinal fermentation.
It recommended for people with gallbladder diseases, gout, rheumatism, children, pregnant women and those with anemia. And for those with liver disease, colic, and those with weak digestive systems.
It contains small quantities of various vitamins, except for vitamin A, garlic is a nutrient, but it is an irritant to the stomach and urinary system.
Therefore, it is prohibited for those with a weak stomach, kidneys and bladder. Also prohibited for breastfeeding women because its smell mixes with milk, so the baby’s nose.
It is an intestinal disinfectant and a stimulant for the stomach – a stand for microbial diarrhea. We eat it with curd to cleanse the intestines and treat coughs, asthma and whooping cough.
It expels winds, benefits the nerves, stimulates sexual strength, and is a diuretic and menstruation.
An excellent source of vitamins – and one of the most beneficial and nutritious winter vegetables.
It contains vitamins (AB – K) that benefit children because of its abundance of iron, vitamins, iodine and mineral salts.
And it helps with constipation and obesity.
And it is prohibited for those with rheumatic symptoms or jaundice disorders in the liver – or those who complain of gravel and sand – or indigestion.
For everyone who suffers from any kidney disease.
It is advisable not to eat spinach if seeds appeared on the leaves.
Regarding its multiple benefits, experts say that the Arabs knew watercress and described it in ancient medicine and showed that by eating its juicy leaves and ripe seeds. Drinking the juice of its leaves gives general activity to the body, which is beneficial to humans, generates urine and helps digest food.
Experts explain that watercress seeds and juice remove skin freckles. Eating watercress is a treatment to purify the blood and speed up its circulation and helps to stabilize the teeth, strengthen the gums and prevent their bleeding. Also useful for cold and chest diseases because it repels phlegm and relieves rheumatic and joint pain.
Watercress is also working to purify the blood and clean the stomach.
And on the use of watercress as a treatment for hair loss, that is by mixing 15 grams of watercress juice besides 50 grams of alcohol and a teaspoon of rose water and massages the scalp daily for two weeks, then wash.
As for the way it is used for diuresis, it boils the amount of 3 small bunches of watercress with a medium onion in two liters of water and leaves it to boil until it condenses to half its volume and is filtered and drunk from a cup in the morning and a cup in the evening.
Another benefit of watercress is that it treats superficial sunburn by crushing a bunch with a tablespoon of olive oil, then filtering it and using it on the affected part.
And we use fresh watercress in a salad that helps in digestion and diuresis.
Doctors recommend pregnant women to reduce the intake of watercress because it helps the menstrual process.
Also advises those with goiter to not eat it, and excessive consumption of it frequently causes a burning sensation in the bladder.
Recommended serving daily
Some people may think vegetables contain few calories and many benefits, and therefore there is no harm in eating them and in any number!
This belief is wrong, as even vegetables high in fiber and fluids are a source of calories, proteins, carbohydrates and a small percentage of oils.
Therefore, there are recommendations regarding the allowable portions of them in order with the rest of the food groups and according to the needs of each individual calories.
We usually recommend it to eat from one to four cups of vegetables per day, according to the Dairy Council of California, and this, as mentioned earlier, depends on the number of calories you need per day.