Meatless Monday: Help your Health!

They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives. Eat Your Vegetable Day is dedicated to getting people eating their veggies, and also in spreading awareness of their diversity and necessity in a healthy diet.

Eventually, it was established that yes, vegetables are a vital source of nutrients that were hard or impossible to get from an animal source. These nutrients can help to prevent heart disease and decrease bone loss, offset diabetes, and even improve the health of your hair and skin. See our list of health improvements you can receive just by eating your veggies!

1. Vegetables are nutrient dense.

Vegetables pack a lot of nutrition into a minimum of calories. For a measly 35 calories (the amount in one little teaspoon of butter), you can get a half cup of vegetables that contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and health-building substances, called phytonutrients.

2. Veggies are a dieter’s best partner.

The body uses almost as many calories to digest vegetables as there are in vegetables in the first place. You’ll use up most of the 26 calories in a tomato just chewing, swallowing, and digesting it. The leftover calories don’t even have a fighting chance of being stored in a fat cell.

3. You can fill up for less.

Because of the fiber in vegetables, you get fuller faster; which is another reason why it’s nearly impossible to overeat veggies.

4. Vegetables are fat-free and cholesterol-free.

All vegetables by definition are cholesterol-free and for all practical purposes, fat-free. Over 95 percent of vegetables contain less than a gram of fat per serving, and even that insignificant gram is mostly unsaturated fats.

5. Variety, variety, variety.

Let’s face it, diversity makes life interesting. Adults, at least, like different foods prepared different ways. There are hundreds of different kinds of vegetables and even more ways to prepare them.

6. Vegetables provide complex carbohydrates.

The energy in vegetables is in the form of complex carbohydrates. These take some time to digest and don’t cause the blood sugar highs and lows that sugars do.

7. Vegetables contain cancer-fighting phytos.

What you don’t see in the nutrition charts or on the package labels are the hundreds of valuable nutrients, called phytochemicals, found in plants that have as-yet untold health-promoting properties. New research, especially in the field of cancer, is showing that vegetables are nature’s best health foods.

Vegetables have always played an important role in the lives of humans, all the way back to when we were simply hunter-gatherers. Vegetables were one of the hallmarks of civilization, and are arguably the reason we settled and stopped being nomads. The Ear, Nose and Throat Institute suggests you give Meatless Monday a try! Replacing meat with plant-based choices each Monday can offer numerous health benefits! This can make a big difference in your health and the health of our planet.

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