When you increase the number of vegetables in your diet, you are adding more vitamins and minerals and decreasing the number of calories and fats at the same time. Vegetables are known to contain a rich supply of magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin-B complex, beta-carotene, vitamin-K, vitamin-C, and vitamin-A.
Besides the many vitamins and minerals, vegetables also contain a high number of antioxidants and dietary fiber. Having a good number of antioxidants will help the body fight against cancers, oxidant stress, and disease. They also help the body by strengthening its immunity to fight these off. The dietary fiber which vegetables contain includes both soluble and insoluble types. These are known as non-starch polysaccharides. Non-starch polysaccharides consist of mucilage, cellulose, pectin, hemicellulose and gums. When you introduce these compounds into your body, they absorb any unused water to help aid in the smooth removal of waste. Ultimately, by increasing your fiber, you help your body to protect itself from many gastrointestinal conditions.
Daily Amount of Vegetables to Consume
It is recommended that men who are between 19 and 50 years of age need to be consuming at least three cups of vegetables daily. Men who are over 50 might only need 2 1/2 cups. Keep in mind, though, if you include exercise you’ll need to increase your amount of vegetables.
For women in the same age range, you’ll need a minimum of 2 1/2 cups every day. Women who are older than 50 only require two cups. But, like men, women who include exercise also need to increase their amount of vegetable intake.
How to Consume More Vegetables to Lose Weight
To get the most out of your breakfast, try adding onions, mushrooms, or spinach in place of one of your eggs or add them to replace half of the cheese you would use for an omelet. Doing this adds both flavor and volume and decreases your caloric intake.
For lunch, substituting 4 ounces of meat and cheese with vegetables will not only decrease the number of calories but will also probably surprise you on how full you will feel afterward.
What you do is chop up a mixed cup of carrots, peppers, and broccoli and add that instead of the meat along with a cup of your favorite noodles. Adding these components will fill you up for a longer period.
For dinner, you can simply chop a cup of tomatoes, onions, broccoli, or squash and add it in place of half of your rice and pasta. You will have a more satisfying meal which also has a lot fewer calories than you had originally planned for.
Prior to sitting down to eat, look at your plate. If you notice very few vegetables on your plate, then you don’t have a good amount for the meal. What you should see is a larger amount of vegetables. If you don’t, try replacing half of your meat, pasta, and grains with asparagus, steamed veggies or many other vegetables which are available. This will cut your calorie intake without cutting the amount of food you planned to eat.