How Many Servings of Vegetables Do You Need?
By Sara Butler
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is important to your overall health and wellness, and vegetables are a big part of that balance. Vegetables are incredibly nutritious for you; they also help to protect your body from certain types of chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. But just how many vegetables do you need each day in order to reap these benefits? Here’s how to maximize all you get from eating plenty of vegetables and how much you need!
Why Vegetables are So Important
Vegetables are rich in a variety of beneficial nutrients, though different types of vegetables have different levels of nutrients. In general, vegetables are rich in minerals, fiber, and vitamins. They’re also low in sugar, fat, and sodium. Some varieties can also help to hydrate you because they’re high in water content.
Vegetables are also full of antioxidants and other plant compounds that help to keep your cells healthy, lowering your risk of disease along the way.
What Makes a Serving?
There’s really no standard that constitutes a serving of vegetables – it varies from country to country. Serving sizes can also vary based on how they’re prepared and with what units they’re measured. So, make sure to check with local government agencies based on what country you’re in to determine what exactly constitutes a serving. And be warned that potatoes, even though they are vegetables, are often included in the same category as rice and pasta since they’re high in starch.
In general, many experts recommend that you get three to four portions of vegetables a day in order to help maintain good health.
How to Eat Your Vegetables
You can eat vegetables in a variety of ways, which is part of what makes them so great. You can buy them fresh, frozen, canned, or even juiced. But you’ll get the most nutrition from the frozen or fresh variety. That’s because frozen and fresh vegetables are picked at the peak of their ripeness, providing the best taste and nutritional value.
Remember that canned vegetables often have added salt and sugar. Not to mention the heating process used to can vegetables can destroy some of their natural nutrients, so you may not be getting the full benefits when you eat veggies from a can.
Make sure to get enough vegetables in your diet for continued health and wellness!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Richardson, Tex.