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Maximize Your Health: 5 Ways to Eat More Vegetables
Posted: Apr 01, 2024
Maximize Your Health: 5 Ways to Eat More Vegetables image

What are the Health Benefits of Eating Vegetables? 

Eat a variety of vegetables to gain the health benefits of receiving essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients help your body function well. Consuming vegetables can also help reduce inflammation which can be beneficial as chronic inflammation has been associated with CLL progression. The consumption of fruits and vegetables can also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain secondary cancers. 

What Are the Different Types of Vegetables? 

Vegetables can be classified into different families. It is helpful to consume a variety of vegetables because each type offers a different composition of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Common vegetable families include:  

  • Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
  • Root vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and radishes
  • Legumes like peas, beans, and lentils
  • Squashes like zucchini, pumpkin, butternut squash, and acorn squash
  • Stem vegetables like asparagus and celery
  • Alliums like onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots
  • Sea vegetables like edible seaweeds

Tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and bell peppers are technically fruits that are commonly mistaken as vegetables. Regardless of their classification, these foods also contain nutrients that provide significant health benefits. 

How Many Vegetables Do I Need Each Day? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that adults consume at least 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. 

Achieving this amount can sometimes be challenging. To support optimal health, below are 5 ways to include more vegetables in your meals. 

5 Ways to Eat More Vegetables 

1. Season with a variety of herbs and spices before cooking to improve flavor. Spice combinations are endless. You can experiment based on your favorite flavor profile. Many people enjoy simply adding a dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika prior to cooking. When adding salt, stay under the FDA-recommended daily maximum of 1 tsp a day. 

2. Add a dash of healthy oil, like extra virgin olive oil, prior to cooking to improve both flavor and to help your body absorb more of the vegetables’ nutrients. 

3. Bake vegetables at a high temperature to caramelize their natural sugars, leading to a sweet and crispy finish. This method works exceptionally well with root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets.

4. Air frying offers a crispy result with minimal oil, making it a healthier alternative to traditional frying.

5. Sauté vegetables to allow them to slightly soften while retaining their vibrant color and nutrients. 

Eating vegetables reduces your risk of certain cancers. To reduce your risk of secondary cancers, aim for the recommended daily vegetable intake, embrace variety, and explore different cooking methods and seasonings. This can help you enhance the nutritional value and taste of your meals. 

Sources

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sponsors:

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