A plant-based diet has been linked to lower blood pressure, slashed cholesterol, reduced risk of cancer, healthier blood sugar levels, and lowered BMI, but many of us still fail to get enough servings of vegetables per day, opting for processed meats, sugary snacks, and empty carbs instead. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults following an average 2000-calorie-per-day diet should eat two-and-a-half cups of vegetables a day (but eating even more is incredibly beneficial).
What would happen if we actually ate enough veggies every single day? To motivate you, Hello Giggles recently compiled a list of the amazing health benefits associated with high vegetable intake. Here's what you can look forward to once you adopt a vegetable-rich diet.
Your digestive system will work more efficiently
Vegetables are high in fiber, meaning your digestive system will run more smoothly and regularly. They do emphasize the importance of increasing your water intake alongside your veggie intake; failure to do so will make your body constipated.
You could live longer
As mentioned above, eating a diet rich in vegetables can stave off disease and even cancer. More specifically, Imperial College London researchers found that eating more than five servings of fruits and veggies a day will reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death.
Your skin will glow
Don't waste money on expensive masks or creams; a 2019 study found that introducing more vegetables in your diet can improve your skin's texture and appearance. Additionally, vegetables contain phytonutrients, vitamin C, and high water content that can hydrate skin and reduce wrinkles.
Medawar E, Huhn S, Villringer A, Witte A. The Effects of Plant-Based Diets on the Body and the Brain: A Systematic Review. Transl Psychiatry. 2019;9(1):226. doi:10.1038/s41398-019-0552-0
Aune D, Giovannucci E, Boffetta P, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Total Cancer and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2017;46(3):1029-1056. doi:10.1093/ije/dyw319
Balić A, Mokos M. Do We Utilize Our Knowledge of the Skin Protective Effects of Carotenoids Enough? Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(8). doi:10.3390/antiox8080259