It’s clear that there are many benefits of eating vegetables.
Unfortunately, there are also wide and varying opinions on just what those benefits might be.
Here’s the Good News- Vegetables TASTE GOOD
If you don’t eat much in the way of vegetables now because you don’t really like them, cheer up. There is a HUGE variety out there. The world is getting smaller, and items are showing up at farmer’s markets (and even at the supermarket) that you likely never heard of when you were growing up.
Heirloom- sometimes called heritage- vegetables are coming back into fashion, because people are demanding flavor. Since this sort of produce usually doesn’t transport well (which is why Big Agriculture got away from them to begin with), small farms are once again springing up to supply the local demand.
Locally grown food is almost always better for you (an important part of the Macrobiotic way of eating and living). It is usually much fresher, and as a bonus, it didn’t take ungodly amounts of petroleum to get it to you (Did you realize how many times food and ingredients for food manufacturing go back and forth across this country before they even reach your grocery store? a whole ‘nother subject).
Mother Knows Best
Mom always told me (and I believe she got it from her Mama) that the more, and deeper, colors on your plate, the better the food would be for you.
Nutrition science is proving them correct: it appears that the “phytochemicals” (active chemicals in plants) are contained in the pigments, different chemicals being associated with different colors.
Foods that have a long historical use are coming into the limelight. Things like algae, fungi, cactus, and seaweeds are overcoming the “yuck factor.” Remember,
it wasn’t so long ago that fiber had that same identification. Well, OK, it’s still there, but at least it’s widely acknowledged as being necessary for optimum health.
One Plus One Equals Three
You can take raw beans, nuts, and seeds- nutricious foods in themselves- and by soaking (sprouting) them, create an almost entirely different piece of produce. They become more susceptible to spoilage, but the increase in available nutrients far outweighs this small disadvantage.
More Benefits of Eating Vegetables
Don’t forget: you can also drink your vegetables. I don’t mean the pasteurized juice that comes in glass bottles, although that’s certainly a better option than soda.
Have you ever had fresh carrot juice first thing in the morning? A much better pick-me-up than coffee, freshly squeezed vegetable juice is loaded with a concentration of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and even distilled water (the plant did the distilling for you), alongside the micronutrients.
Keep It Balanced
As good as raw foods are for you, it’s important to also eat
cooked vegetables , especially for vegetarians. Fifty percent cooked foods and fifty percent uncooked foods is a healthful ratio for most people.
Other benefits of eating vegetables include lower rates of various cancers; delay, decrease, or avoidance of the symptoms of aging; and probably the most important, ENJOYING LIFE.