What Happens To Your Body When You Eat More Veggies?

For the past couple of weeks, I have been talking about veggies A LOT!

How to get your 5 servings of vegetables, as well as how to sneak more veg into your everyday diet. But I haven’t told you why you should be doing this!

Therefore, I am dedicating this blog post to the benefits of eating at least 5 servings of veggies a day and how it improves you.

I will be breaking the post into the three sections of: mind, body and Earth; as these are the key areas that I like to focus on when working with nutrition.

 

MIND

  1. Clear mind. When you are eating more veggies, you are eating less crappy food like MacDonald’s takeaway. The immediate benefit of this is that you will have a clearer mind as your body isn’t always dealing with the sugar rollercoaster of highs and lows (think 3pm slump)
  2. Stay Hydrated. Because veggies are mainly water, it is easier to stay hydrated. When hydrated, the brain functions better. This also helps if you often get headaches from not drinking enough water.
  3. You will be more productive! Studies have shown that people who increase their veggie intake experience a raise in productivity. This is because your brain is getting better fuel to run on.
  4. Better Moods. People who eat a diet rich in plants experience better moods. This is the result of veggies keeping blood sugar levels stable. Stable blood sugar = stable mood.
  5. Better sleep! Another positive result of having stable blood sugar levels in you will sleep better. If you include some sweet corn or tomatoes in your dinner, this will boost your melatonin levels (sleep hormone) to give you an even more restful night.

 

BODY

  1. Better skin. This goes hand in hand with point 2 for the mind. More veggies = better hydration and when the body is hydrated, it immediately shows on the skin. This can result in less fine lines, clearer skin and a better complexion.
  2. More energy. There is a lot to be said in keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Not only does it help with your mental state but it physically helps you as well by giving you more energy. When your body isn’t constantly crashing for high sugar meals, it can easily function and give you the energy that you need to do all that you want in a day.
  3. Less hunger. Veggies are full of that magic stuff called fibre that keeps you full for longer. No more feeling hungry after just eating breakfast. This is very handy if you are trying to maintain or lose some weight.
  4. More regular. Thanks again to fibre, when you eat at least 5 servings of veggies a day, you will be increasing your fibre intake which leads to regular bowel movements. When regular, you don’t often experience that gross heavy feeling in your stomach or as much bloating and gas. Side note: Although, when initially increasing the fibre in your diet, there can be an uncomfortable bloating stage while your body is adjusting.
  5. Feeling good. When you are eating lots of veggies, you are going to feel better. This is because you are simply getting more nutrients into your body to help it run better. You are also going to be experiencing the positive side effects from the other points and it won’t take too long before other people are noticing too.

 

EARTH

  1. Better for the planet. Eating more veggies is one of the best ways that you can help the planet because the more you eat, the less factory farmed animals you are going to need to consume. Factory farming is one of the biggest contributors of CO2 into the atmosphere due to the increased amount of animals that we now have on the planet. By voting with your plate, you can decrease the demand for this farming practise.
  2. Use less water. Producing a pound of beef uses a staggering 2500 gallons of water compared to a pound of lettuce (15 gallons). A pound of butter requires 2400 gallons of water, while a pound of bananas uses 120 gallons. By eating more vegetables, you are easily reducing your environmental footprint by the amount of water that you consume.
  3. Use less fossil fuels. According to the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, the animal food production system uses The high uses about 50% of the total US land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country.  This is mainly due to the amount of work that goes into growing the crops, which are then fed to the animals. Another way to reduce your eco footprint is to opt for grass fed animals.
  4. More compassion. 9 billion animals need to be maintained in the US to meet the demand for meat. That is a lot of mouths to feed! If we ate more veg, the demand for these animals would decrease and the food that we fed them, could be used to feed people in poverty and even better, stop the cruel practises that happen to the animals.
  5. Reduce deforestation. Animal agriculture is the number one reason for deforestation, closely followed by wood based industry as stated by WWF and Conserve Energy Future. By eating more veg, we can reduce the demand for land needed to raise more livestock.

 

What do you think about eating more veggies? Now that you know how it improves aspects of the mind, body and Earth, does this make you want to try to eat them more?

 

Let me know below and have a great week,

Olivia xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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References

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/from-lettuce-to-beef-whats-the-water-footprint-of-your-food.html 

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full 

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-deforestation.php

http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html

https://www.allianz.com/en/about_us/open-knowledge/topics/environment/articles/150329-the-top-ten-drivers-of-deforestation.html/

 

 

 

 

 

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