The Science Behind Eating Your Veggies
Eating a varied diet of fresh produce can improve your health leaps and bounds, probably more than you think.
Hippocrates is considered the founder of medicine and is well known for saying:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”
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These days there is so much nutritional science surrounding the benefits of so many foods that even simple vegetables like broccoli are now being considered a super food because of its complex nutritional profile and benefits for many systems in the body, especially the immune system.
Photo credit: Rainaldo Kevin
Nutrition plays a major role in immune function and nutrients such as vitamin A, zinc, folate, and selenium have fundamental responsibilities in regulating this system within the body. (14)
There is much research supporting Mediterranean and Japanese diets that are heavy in consumption of fruits and vegetables and are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. (15) Poor nutrition is also associated with inflammation, which in turn can disrupt the body’s natural functioning and can lead to disease. (14)
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Many health practitioners and clients alike are looking to nutritional medicine for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. (14-16) The field of nutritional medicine and its impact on health is ever evolving, from reducing the effects and risks associated with obesity, ageing, and other age-related diseases. (15, 16)
If you are unsure of where to start to get the most out of including more vegetables in your diet, start with including at least 2 vegetables with every meal and think of a rainbow of colours when deciding which ones to include.
- Raiten DJ, Sakr Ashour FA, Ross C, Meydani SN, Dawson HD, Stephensen CB, et al. Inflammation & Nutrition Science for Program / Policy and Interpretation of Research Evidence (INSPIRE). J Nutr [Internet]. 2015;1–6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4448820/pdf/jn194571.pdf
- Shao A, Drewnowski A, Willcox DC, Krämer L, Lausted C, Eggersdorfer M, et al. Optimal nutrition and the ever-changing dietary landscape: a conference report. Eur J Nutr [Internet]. 2017;56(s1):1–21. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5442251/pdf/394_2017_Article_1460.pdf
- Péter S, Eggersdorfer M, Van Asselt D, Buskens E, Detzel P, Freijer K, et al. Selected nutrients and their implications for health and disease across the lifespan: A roadmap. Nutrients [Internet]. 2014;6(12):6076–94. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277016/pdf/nutrients-06-06076.pdf
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