a renowned experts in the field of health dr mercolla published an article on the importance of vegetables. Most vegetables are very low in calories and net carbs, while being high in healthy fiber and the valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. As a general rule, vegetables are a nutritional cornerstone.
Eating plenty of vegetables can help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. For example, one 2010 study found that eating just one extra serving of leafy greens a day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.6
Vegetables also contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else.
Plant chemicals called phytochemicals help reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, remove old cells and maintain DNA.
Vegetables Are the Ultimate Among Low-Net Carb Foods
Many of these benefits are actually due to the high fiber content in vegetables. The fiber in vegetables is broken down into health-promoting short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by your gut bacteria, and SCFAs have been shown to lessen your risk of inflammatory diseases.8
Your liver converts these short-chain fats into ketones that nourish your body and provide important signaling functions.
The fiber content also promotes optimal gut health in general by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria. Leafy greens, which have some of the highest fiber content in the vegetable kingdom, also activate a gene called T-bet, which is essential for producing critical immune cells in the lining of your digestive tract.9
These immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), help maintain balance between immunity and inflammation in your body and produce interleukin-22 (IL-22), a hormone that helps protect your body from pathogenic bacteria.
ILCs even help resolve cancerous lesions and prevent the development of bowel cancers and other inflammatory diseases, including obesity. So which are the “superstars” within the vegetable kingdom? Here I’ll review five different categories of veggies worth your daily consideration.