What is the significance of greens in your diet for optimal health?

There is one truth that everyone can agree on when it comes to foods that are good for you!  Greens are good for your health!  For your mind and body to really flourish from food, eating plenty of vegetables is essential. These natural nutrient powerhouses, offer a gateway to optimal health, which goes beyond your basic vitamins and minerals.  There aren’t many foods where ‘more is better’ but with vegetables, this is actually true! Our health is our most important asset and eating your greens not only lengthens your life but it also helps you live those years with maximum vitality!

The first and arguably one of the most convincing reasons to eat your greens is because they help you live longer. Research from 16 studies that varied in length from 4-26 years and involving almost 1 million people in a wide variety of countries had some very convincing results. They found that for every extra serve of fruit and vegetable eaten each day, a person’s risk of death reduced by 5%. So going from 1 serving per day to 5 servings a day cut a person’s risk of death by about 20%.  If that was a supplement or medicine making that sort of claim, I wonder how long it would take to sell out?  Surprisingly however, only 7% of Australians are eating 5 serves of vegetables per day and therefore there is a lot of extra years of life up for grabs!    


So, what is it in vegetables that makes them so good for us? Vegetables are packed with essential nutrients and although we call them ‘greens’, they come in a wide array of colours and all those colours provide a wide variety of nutrients! For example:

  • Just half a cup of cooked broccoli contains your day’s Vitamin c and almost all of your vitamin K which is important for healthy bones.
  • Your humble cob of corn has 1/5 of your daily folate which helps the body make healthy red blood cells and contains vitamin B1 which you need to turn food into energy.
  • Carrots are cheaper than chips and always in season while also providing all your vitamin A needs from just 1 large carrot. Vitamin A is important for vision, bones and a healthy immune system.
  • Vegetables are also your main source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lycopene and flavonoids. Antioxidants help to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body and therefore reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease and cancer.
  • vegetables contain various phytonutrients, including sulforaphane, quercetin, and lutein. These compounds have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties, contributing to overall health and disease prevention.
  • Another very important nutrient in vegetables that is easy to overlook is the humble H2O – water. Vegetables have a high water content which is needed for most functions in the body, including transporting nutrients around the body and removing waste.


So apart from living longer, vegetables can also help you get more out of life! Some of the reported benefits for health include:

The nutrient benefits of vegetables are undeniable, offering a holistic approach to supporting overall health and well-being. By incorporating a colourful variety of vegetables into your daily meals, you can reap the rewards of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and hydration. Whether raw, cooked, or blended into delicious smoothies, vegetables provide a foundation for a balanced and nourishing diet. So, embrace the vibrant spectrum of nature's bounty and unlock the countless health benefits that vegetables have to offer. Your body will thank you for it.

May 01, 2024