Effects of Insufficient Vegetable Intake
Your diet is directly related to how your body feels and functions. Your body is capable of a lot, but the nutrients that it cannot manufacture on its own have to come from the food that you eat. Vegetables supply essential nutrients that affect all processes within your body from your metabolism to oxygen transport. Let’s take a look at some of the effects that you might be experiencing if you aren’t eating enough vegetables:
Low vegetable intake often leaves your body without sufficient dietary fiber. Vegetables provide roughage that promotes healthy digestion. A lack of vegetables can cause either constipation or diarrhea, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and unwilling to eat. Also, vegetables provide the necessary nutrients for the metabolism of the foods that you eat.
Leafy green vegetables, including swiss chard and kale, provide a good dose of vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting, bone mineralization and cell growth. A vitamin K deficiency might result in abnormal bleeding due to a reduction in clotting factors that vitamin K help produce.
A folic acid deficiency can also be a result of low vegetable intake. Symptoms may go unnoticed for several months, resulting in a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, a condition that results in enlarged red blood cells. Someone suffering from megaloblastic anemia may feel fatigued and experience a shortness of breath because of the role of red blood cells in oxygen transport.
Vegetables are a healthier alternative to foods high in fat and calories, because they provide nutrients without the excess calories. Adverse health conditions and weight gain are two results of replacing vegetables with these unhealthy foods.
Vegetables provide a bountiful source of antioxidants, which are substances that protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage the body and can lead to serious problems. With proper vegetable consumption, you may be lowering your risk of contracting such conditions as heart disease and cancer.
When it comes to our overall health, the importance of a healthy diet cannot be emphasized enough. When you find that you are falling short when it comes to your vegetable intake, consider: