We hear all the time that vegetables are good for us and that we should be eating more vegetables. People who eat more vegetables as part of their healthy diet generally have decreased risks for many conditions and diseases. There are many things about vegetables that make them such an important part of a good diet.
One very important thing about vegetables is that most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. No vegetables have cholesterol, although some sauces and seasonings that people regularly add to their vegetables may add calories, cholesterol, and fat. Because high-fat foods and cholesterol contribute to heart disease, increasing the amount of vegetables in your diet can help reduce the risks associated with fat and cholesterol. In addition, the more calories you consume, the more likely it is your body will store those calories as fat. This too can contribute to many health problems.
Vegetables are generally a very rich source of many vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Importantly, the way in which our bodies use these nutrients and vitamins is not well understood, and even though fortified foods and supplements can help, vegetables are much more effective as sources of nutrients than artificial sources. It may be that these nutrients work best in concert with other things that the vegetable provides in addition to the nutrients, or it may be something about the natural setting. Whatever it is, vegetables are probably the best source of vitamins and nutrients for most normal adults.
Among the common nutrients found in most vegetables are various vitamins that can have many health benefits. For example, Vitamin A helps the body fight infections and can keep the skin and eyes healthy. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and also assists in the body’s absorption of iron, an essential mineral. Folate is found in many vegetables and helps the body form red blood cells.
Vegetables are probably the healthiest foods we can eat, and almost every doctor who is concerned about a patient’s overall wellbeing will insist on increasing the amount of vegetables in your diet. At Internal Medicine, Lipids, and Wellness of Fort Myers, Dr. Kordonowy believes in holistic wellness, which includes diet planning and other healthy choices. If you have any questions about diet and health be sure to contact us today: (239) 362-3005 (ext. 200).