Yesterday we had one meal of nothing but whole foods. Today is all about the veggies. Today the challenge is to eat five servings of vegetables!
We all know we should eat our vegetables, but why are veggies so important?
Veggies are loaded with phytonutrients, many of which our powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants remove free radicals from our system, thereby slowing the aging process, protecting us against cancer, boosting our immune systems, and keeping our gut healthy.
Vegetables are also a great source of micronutrients and fiber. As I mentioned yesterday, micronutrients give our body the building blocks to repair our bodies and keep us healthy, and fiber helps us feel full and protect our gut and liver.
Vegetables are also low in caloric density, which means you’re getting the most bang for your buck when you eat. The volume and fiber content of vegetables mean you literally can’t overeat when consuming veggies. You get full too fast and get a ton of vitamins in the process.
I’ve included the Integrative Nutrition Plate, which gives you an idea of portions for each food group. You’ll notice that veggies have the lion’s share of the plate, because they’re the healthiest foods you can eat.
Now some of you might be thinking, but I hate broccoli! That’s ok. What about squash, peppers, collard greens, okra, spinach, turnips, onion, cabbage… (NOTE: Corn is not a veggie; it’s a grain. Peas are not veggies; their beans.)
There are a lot of veggies to choose from, and variety is the key. Phytonutrients actually give vegetables their color, so if you want a variety of phytonutrients, eat the rainbow.