The value of vegetable dishes in the diet is difficult to overestimate. It is vegetable diets prescribed for not only gastrointestinal tract diseases. Vegetables are the basis of nutrition for athletes and hard labor workers. They are also almost 90% of the nutrition of the average planet inhabitant.
The role of vegetables in human nutrition
The greatest recognition of vegetables among nutritionists and doctors received thanks to the quality differences from other food groups. For example, unlike the same fruits, vegetables contain less simple sugars and acids. The significance of this difference is enormous – tooth enamel and the gastrointestinal tract do not suffer from food containing vegetables, even mostly fresh.
Unlike animal products and fish, vegetables can boast an almost total lack of fat. Indeed, there are practically no oils or fatty acids in root crops, or in the green parts of plants, which makes it possible to include them in the diet in unlimited quantities.
It is also difficult to compare the value of vegetables in human nutrition with cereals. If in the raw or sprouted form, various seeds can indulge in vitamins and proteins with vegetables, then in a prepared form they are much inferior to them. And vegetables, in turn, are much more consumed in a raw state.
But these comparisons are not entirely correct. All products or product groups are unique each of which has their own properties. The properties of vegetables in relation to the human body are unique in their own way.
The benefits of vegetables in human nutrition
Despite the fact that all vegetables are different in their properties and characteristics, there are common beneficial properties of vegetables. Here are just some of them:
A large rate of carbohydrates on the background of low amounts of proteins and fats
This is a distinctive feature of two groups of products – vegetables and fruits. But if in fruits large carbohydrates are represented to a large extent by simple sugars, in vegetables they are more often polysaccharides – starch, fiber, and others. The value of starch is that it provides the body with energy. The value of fiber makes the intestines work in a proper way. Both vegetables and fruits promote maintenance of a tone and activity of an organism.
High water content
Its content in vegetables can reach up to 90-95% which ensures the saturation of the whole body. The significance of this composition is obvious – the skin is pure and softer, the physiological processes are easier to perform. In addition, the importance of water in the body is the key to food digestion. It contributes to the formation of softer seeds which are easier processed by the digestive tract.
A huge amount of vitamins and minerals
The importance of vegetables in human nutrition as sources of vitamins is enormous. According to these statistics, only fruit and internal organs of animals can be compared with vegetable benefits. So, if we consider sea cabbage a vegetable, which is biologically purely algae, then it is quite possible to make a vegetable diet that fully satisfies the body’s need for vitamins. Even the elusive B12 in this diet will be in the very rate. Vitamins in the body are the key to the normal course of all metabolic, energy and synthetic processes.
Availability of enzymes
This is a characteristic of fresh plant products only. It is the presence of enzymes in each vegetable cell able to break down its own components. It contributes to tremendous ease of products’ assimilation in the body. Our digestive system now does not need to spend any enzymes for splitting vegetables – everything is processed by its own juices. Therefore, vegetable food does not cause bloating like meat.
The ability to use raw food
Meat products or cereal seeds cannot boast of this characteristic. They need to be thermally processed, after which they lose most of the vitamins and nutrients. Vegetables, eaten raw, will bring into the body all that contained in themselves.
So, the positive value of vegetables in human nutrition is expressed in the fact that they bring:
- enough energy and strength to do hard work;
- enough water for the normal course of all internal reactions;
- soft skin, well-working circulatory and digestive systems;
- there are always many vitamins and, as a result, there is no disturbance of metabolic processes;
- fats do not accumulate;
- the nervous, endocrine and urogenital systems work well.