Looking for an easy way to improve your nutrition? Ready to make some small changes for big gains?
Then look no further than this year’s National Nutrition Week campaign: Try for 5. It encourages all Aussies to have five serves of vegetables a day.
We’ve all heard it before: eating more vegetables is the number one strategy to improve health and lose weight.
But how else are they beneficial?
Eating vegetables can reduce chronic disease
Having more vegies in our diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease. This includes coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
Eating vegetables can help fight depression
New emerging evidence has found that eating vegetables helps improve mood and reduces the risk of depression. And yet, only 4% of Australians are eating enough vegetables!
That means a lot of us are missing out on essential nutrients that help us to function properly including vitamins and minerals (e.g. vitamin C, magnesium and folate), phytonutrients, antioxidants and dietary fibre.
How many vegetables are we eating?
The average Australian is only eating about half the amount of vegetables that they should be.
This is leading to an increased number of cases of obesity, chronic diseases and poor mental health (including an impact on memory and learning).
Not only are we missing out on essential nutrients available in vegetables, we are replacing our vegetable intake with processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar (not so great for our health).
One extra serve can help
Did you know that just one extra serve of vegies a day can reduce your risk of mortality by 5%? That’s pretty impressive.
Imagine how your health would improve if you had five serves of vegies every single day!
A serve of vegetables includes:
- ½ cup of cooked green or orange vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, carrots and pumpkin)
- ½ cup of cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
- 1 cup of green leafy or raw salad vegetables
- ½ cup sweet corn
- 1 medium potato or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro and cassava)
- 1 medium tomato.
So, now that you know how important vegies are, how can you start having more of them? Simply read our eight tips for increasing vegetable intake every day.
Getting nutrition advice is easy
For help and advice about eating more vegetables to improve your diet, make an appointment with our in-house dietitian today.
Source: The Nutrition Code
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.