Vegetables

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The Health Benefits of …. Vegetables

Nutrients

Vegetables are low-fat, low-calorie and contain no cholesterol, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPryamid website. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A, E and C, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Potassium is essential in controlling blood pressure. Folic acid helps form red blood cells in the body. Vitamin A is essential for skin and eye health. Vitamin C helps the body heal cuts and wounds and keeps gums and teeth healthy. Vitamin E guards vitamin A and essential fatty acids from cell oxidation.

Cardiovascular Health

People who eat more vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease or stroke. According to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public health, persons who eat more than five servings of leafy green vegetables such as spinach, greens, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have a 20 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with those who ate fewer than three servings per day.

Gastrointestinal Health

Vegetables provide fiber, which aids in digestion. Fiber soaks up fluid and expands as it passes through the digestive system. This action calms an irritable bowel and provides relief from constipation. The softening and bulking action of the insoluble fiber in vegetables also prevents diverticulosis and diverticulitis by decreasing pressure within the intestinal tract.

Vision

The vitamin A in vegetables maintains the health of your eyes. Carrots keeps your night vision sharp. The lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach protect your eyes from free radicals–air pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight–that over time can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.

Other Health Benefits

Eating vegetables can reduce your risk for diabetes, prevent kidney stones and decrease or prevent bone loss, according to the MyPyramid website. Vegetables also are a great low-calorie substitute for high-calorie foods or snacks.

Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/200808-importance-of-vegetables-in-a-diet/#ixzz2N0R31LqK

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