As children, we may have been upset at having to eat our so-called healthy green vegetables. Our parents would tell us how good they were for us. Now that some of us are parents, we do the same with our own children. However, even though they say it, many parents do not really know why vegetables are good for us. We have passed the message that eating broccoli and peas will make us healthy to our children based on the fact that we have been told that it is so.
Let us now look at why it is so important to eat vegetables and understand their benefits to our health.
Natural Detoxifier and Deodorizer
Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of chlorophyll which serves as one of the body’s detoxifiers. Detoxification is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body. Chlorophyll plays a part in ensuring that enough oxygen is being delivered by the blood to all the different cells in the body. It is also involved in the neutralization of free radicals which helps prevent damage to the cells.
Individuals who have bad breath or suffer with other body odours will benefit from eating plenty of green leafy vegetables as the chlorophyll serves as a natural deodorizer.
Eating raw or only lightly cooked greens will help to obtain as much chlorophyll as possible from the vegetable. Also, the darker the leaves, the more chlorophyll the vegetables contain.
Healthy pH Levels
pH is quantitative measure of the acidity or basicity of aqueous or other liquid solutions.
For your body to function optimally, it needs to maintain the correct pH balance. Sometimes the body can be too acidic or too alkaline. The type of diet that many people have these days tends to lean towards eating foods that induce the production of too much acid.
Examples of these foods may include some meats, refined grains, artificial sweeteners, pasteurized dairy, processed sugar and a lot of fatty foods. When these acid-forming foods are being ingested on a regular basis, one can no longer expect their immune system to be functioning at a healthy level. This is because these acid-forming foods can turn your body into a breeding ground for illnesses which may range from the common cold to heart disease or even cancer.
Keeping your pH level within an acceptable range can significantly help you achieve and maintain your best possible health. This can be greatly assisted by eating alkaline-forming foods such as turnip greens, spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli. Alkaline forming foods help to create the right environment within your body that is necessary for your immune system to be in peak condition.
A study revealed that the T-bet gene inside our body responds actively when green leafy vegetables are consumed. The T-bet gene plays a crucial role in the production of critical immune cells inside the gut. These immune cells, which are also referred to as Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC), reside in the lining of the digestive system and work to protect the body against the invasion of bad bacteria in the intestine.
This assists in the prevention of inflammatory diseases, food allergies, obesity and bowel cancer.
Better Eye Health
Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. People who eat foods containing carotenoids get protective health benefits that are originally imparted to plants. Dark green leafy vegetables contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are found in concentrated amounts in the eye lens and in the macular region of the retina. Regular consumption of dark green leafy veggies can help prevent the occurrence of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
There are also studies which showed that lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce the risk of lung cancer and breast cancer.
It is because of the benefits stated above and many others that are documented in detail that green leafy vegetables are very good for the human body. This is a fact that should definitely be taught from parents to children, and so on.
Categories of My Research Blogs
I have complied the links below for more reading on research done on health benefits of green vegetables. Some of it might be of an academic nature.