BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative




Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. As children grow, parents make conscious efforts to ensure they instill the habit of eating vegetables as a staple in the everyday meal plan of their child. This is primarily because of the health benefits of vegetables. Every individual, children and adults alike ought to adopt a pattern of eating vegetables daily to ensure a healthy, balanced diet. In the words of former American politician, Doug Larson: “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacons.” While it is true that some vegetables don’t smell or taste good, there is a wide range of options to choose from since it is essential to inculcate continuous consumption of a variety of vegetables in our diet.

Vegetables are parts of plants such as the leaves, the fruits and the roots of plants which are safe for human consumption.[1] Vegetables are considered staple foods because they are locally sourced and readily available foods in most countries of the world.[2] As reported by the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, there are about 1000 types of vegetables in the world.[3] Some common examples of vegetables are tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, cucumbers, eggplants, onions, broccolis and a lot more. Vegetables form an extensive part of human sustenance in various parts of the world.[4]Vegetables can be cooked and dished in many ways. They can be steamed, fried, boiled or eaten raw.[5] Like fruits, vegetables are seasonal. This means that the availability and accessibility of varied vegetables is dependent on what time of the year it is. However, some vegetables are available in every time and season. Vegetables are categorized or grouped based on what part of a plant that is edible. Some categories of vegetables are: 

  • Root vegetables: examples of these vegetables are onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.
  • Leaf vegetables: examples of these vegetables are lettuce, cabbages, broccolis, etc.
  • Fruit vegetables: examples of these vegetables are cucumbers, eggplants, etc.

The health benefits of eating vegetables cannot be overemphasized. Vegetables are highly nutritional because they stem from plants which are abundant in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.[6] Vegetables generally have little amounts of calories and are mostly composed of highly beneficial dietary fiber and water.[7] Given the associated benefits of fibre and water, vegetables have been linked to regulation of blood sugar and reduction of death rate.[8] Research shows that meals rich in vegetables reduce chances of cardiovascular diseases.[9] Vegetarian diets have also been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease the possibilities of heart diseases and help deter some types of cancer.[10] The world health organization suggest that everybody should consume not less than five servings of varied vegetables daily.[11] No vegetable can solely provide all the nutrients needed for the body to keep fit.[12] Thus, vegetarian diets must be served as meals consisting of a variety of vegetables to ensure a healthy diet. Vegetables are numerous and they serve varied nutritional purposes accordingly to the body. This means that carrots do not perform the same nutritional functions as broccolis. We shall now look at the diverse nutritional functions of some varied vegetables to the human body. 

Carrots are rich in vitamins A, fiber, and potassium and are also a great source of antioxidants and beta- carotene which have been revealed to help reduce the risk of some types of cancer.[13] Carrots have been shown to aid weight-loss and enhanced eye sight.[14] Carrots are abounding in fiber which may impede the development of type 2 diabetes.[15]Broccolis are a good source of vitamin c, vitamin k, iron, fiber[16] and have been shown to also lower the risk of diabetes and reducing the chances of developing some types of cancer.[17] Cucumbers are abounding in potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber. Habitual consumption of cucumbers have been shown to be lower the risks of heart diseases and reduce blood pressure.[18] Cucumbers have also been shown to aid hydration and bowel movement.[19] Cucumbers are also great for keeping the skin healthy and strengthening the bone.[20]

Conclusively, as rightly said by the American physician and author, Michael Greger: “We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it- because they do.” This goes to show beyond doubt, how essential the consumption of vegetables is to the human body.





















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