5 reasons to eat lots of vegetables

Can you eat too many vegetables?  Honestly, I don’t think there is such a thing as too many vegetables.  In fact, I wonder if it’s possible to live on nothing but vegetables.  It certainly wouldn’t be boring.  The main drawback would be getting enough protein.  It could work if you include cooked dried beans in your definition of vegetables.  But protein aside, what are the best things about eating vegetables?

  1. They fill you up and cut hunger.  Vegetables are full of fiber and water, and take up a lot of room in your stomach.  So if you eat plenty at a meal or snack, you don’t have a lot of room left in your stomach.  And all that fiber is good for digestion.
  2. They’re loaded with nutrients.  It’s hard to imagine other food groups with so much nutrition to offer: antioxidants, fiber, vitamins from A to C to E to folic acid and other B’s; and minerals from calcium to magnesium to potassium and beyond.
  3. They taste great!  Not only that, but there’s so much taste variety, from potatoes to squash to tomatoes to greens to broccoli to cucumbers and everything in between.  And the tastes can be mellowed or intensified, depending on cooking techniques and seasonings.
  4. They’re versatile.  You can use them in casseroles, make vegetable-only stir fries, make tossed green salads or chunky salads, or just serve them up raw, as veggie sticks, with or without dressing or dips.
  5. They come in pretty colors.  I realize that’s not actually a nutrition issue, but if the food is attractive and appealing, you’re more interested in eating it.  A meal with nothing but brown-toned foods is pretty dreary-looking.

Even if you don’t want to live on nothing but vegetables, you should be making room for one or more vegetable dishes in every meal.  If you’re trying to control calories, have two vegetable dishes instead of a one veggie and one heavier carb dish.  Examples:

  • grilled meat, green salad and sauteed broccoli
  • stir fried or sauteed vegetables, chopped tomato salad, baked fish
  • pizza topped only with multiple vegetables and some cheese
  • roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, chopped veggie salad with cheese, spinach salad
You get the picture.  Now go buy some vegetables.
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