Over the past decade research has revealed the prominent role inflammation plays in a host of common diseases from joint pain to cardiovascular disease. The American diet of highly processed foods, sugars and preservatives stokes inflammation and can lead to serious illness.
The most powerful tool we have in changing our health for the better is to change what we eat. A diet which includes vegetables from three categories each day can transform you weight, your energy, your immune system and your life.
Colorful vegetables are high in anti-oxidants. Go for a serving each day from this family: carrots, peppers, pumpkin, asparagus, cabbage, peas, purple cauliflower, purple kale and black olives.
Go with vegetables that are sulfur rich like cauliflower, garlic, leeks, onions, radishes and collard greens.
Go with vegetables that are dark, leafy greens to get vitamins A, C and K as well as phytochemicals and vitamin B. Spinach, mustard greens, beets, arugula, kale are good choices.
Remember herbs count too so include parsley, basil, mint and cilantro.
Change your choices often and you’ll avoid boredom while you get nutritional diversity.
Americans are consuming only 1 ½ to 2 cups of vegetables daily. A healthy volume would be 7-9 cups of vegetables daily. The benefits are amazing. The anti-oxidants found in vegetables can stop or slow down the harmful reactions that occur with oxidative stress and inflammation. These very nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anti-oxidants are your primary defense against inflammation.
If you want better health give your gut some love. To have a healthy gut microbiome you must have a regular source of dietary fiber from vegetables. Sorry, most cereals are not your best source of fiber. Serious health problems like auto-immune disease may be triggered by a lack of good fiber which can lead to “leaky gut syndrome” If you want a healthy body you must nourish your gut with good healthy fiber.
The brain connection is not often discussed when talking about vegetables, however inflammation can negatively impede frontal lobe function. A number of vegetables especially leafy greens and cruciferous are important for clear brain functions. The absence of adequate nutrients can contribute to frustration, elevated stress levels and mood swings.
So please “ eat your vegetables!”