We lead a very busy life that demands much of our attention and due to this, many of us choose to ignore ensuring proper nutrition to our bodies. Fatigue, sluggishness, tiredness, lack of focus, irritation, etc are some of the ways your body telling you that you are not having the proper kind of food. Let it be a plant-based diet, aminal based diet, vegetarian diet, or vegan diet, many people lack enough vegetables in their diet.
The number of veggies needed by an adult depends on the sex, physical activity, and age. Studies show that many people manage to ensure one to three cups of veggies per day. However, as per ICMR, the daily recommended serving of vegetables is around 8 to 10 cups. Rough one cup equivalent of some vegetables are as follows.
- A large tomato
- 5 to 6 florets of broccoli
- A large sweet potato
- 2 carrots of medium size
- A large sweet pepper
- A medium-sized potato
- A large ear of corn
It is a fact that adding more vegetables to your healthy meal prep plan be very beneficial to your health. Vegetables including leafy greens, peas, and beans can provide many nutrients together with vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, these vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and fibers and are low in calories and fats. Therefore, they are great additions to plant-based recipes.
As said earlier, not eating enough vegetables can affect your health adversely. Let us see what some of the signs of not eating enough vegetables are:
Vegetables are rich in water and can ensure proper hydration of your skin, thereby avoiding wrinkles and fine lines. Moreover, a lack of antioxidants in your diet can also make your skin look dull. Many vegetables are great sources of antioxidants and these compounds can mitigate the effects of cell damage by free radicals that are produced as a result of many chemical reactions that are taking place in the body.
Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in a micronutrient called beta carotene that can block the harmful rays in sunlight from damaging the skin. Moreover, having Vitamin C rich foods like spinach, lemon, kale, and broccoli can increases the production of collagen, which is a protein that is necessary to maintain the elasticity of the skin.
You Feel Constipated
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of fiber that are high on magnesium, potassium, and calcium. High fiber intake can ensure proper bowel movement as it helps in adding more bulk to your stools and make it effortless for the stool to pass through your intestines. The feeling of constipation can be overcome by adding beans, peas, broccoli and leafy greens to your healthy meal prep.
The feeling of tiredness even after having a meal can be due to the deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 or folate in your diet. This can further lead to anemia and other complications. To ensure proper intake of iron and vitamins, you can add kidney beans, asparagus, kale, mint, amaranth leaves, dark leafy greens and lentils to your plant-based recipes.
Perpetually Low Mood
Lack of enough nutrition can make you lethargic and low. Having processed foods like pasta, white bread, and sugar-rich foods can offer a surge of energy that is followed by a crash. Therefore, it is better to avoid these food items and rely on fruits and vegetables as they are good sources of minerals and vitamins that are essential for your body. Drinking a glass of fresh green juice in the morning can help uplift your mood and ensure that you are energized throughout the day.
Processed foods are usually high on calories and cannot keep you full for long. Your body will easily absorb the calories and will crave for more, making you always hungry. On the other hand, vegetables are rich in fiber that is not easily digested and can help you keep hunger away. The best way to avoid hunger after a meal is to ensure a meal rich in nutrients that assimilates in the background. If you feel hungry after a meal, you can have nuts, a bowl of fruits or salads, seeds or legumes. This will help you keep hunger at bay.
Muscle cramps can be caused due to a decrease in the levels of magnesium, calcium and potassium in the body. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for the smooth contraction of muscles. If you experience muscle cramps often, you can add dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes and swiss chard to your diet.
Slow Healing Wounds
Wounds taking more time to heal can be due to the low levels of vitamin C in your body. It is vitamin C that helps in the production of collagen that is necessary for skin maintenance and elasticity. If you notice that your skin is easily bruised or that your wounds are taking long to heal, add more fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C to your diet.