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What Happens To Your Body When You're Not Eating Enough Vegetables?

Growing up, we've had our vain battles with vegetables, bawling, pretending to be not hungry, and even nicely transferring it to your siblings' plate when your parents are not watching.

It is no unknown fact that all vegetables contain healthful vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, and some stand out for their exceptional benefits. A diet high in vegetables can help protect you against cancer, diabetes and heart disease [1].

The dietary fibre from vegetables can help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and increase folic acid in the blood. The Dietary Guidelines of USDA claim that you should consume between 5 and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This is equivalent to about 2 ½ to 6 ½ cups daily, depending on the number of calories you need to eat to maintain your weight.

In this article, we will look at the signs which indicate that you're not eating enough vegetables.

What Happens To Your Body And Mind When You Don't Eat Enough Food?

1. You Get Bruised Easily

Consuming fewer amounts of vitamin C can cause bruising easily, bleeding gums, weakness, fatigue, rash and decrease the rate of healing of wounds and cuts. Eat vitamin C-rich foods like red peppers, red chilli peppers, kale, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes [2].

2. You Get Constant Bouts Of Cold

A lack of vegetables in your diet and the essential nutrients (vitamin C) they provide will make your body deficient in the defences it needs to release free radical fighters against virus and bacteria. Consume dark green leafy vegetables that will help strengthen your immune system and provide you with antioxidants and iron in abundance [3].

3. You Are Tired Most Of The Time

If you feel tired all the time, then it can be a deficiency of folate or folic acid. Folate deficiency leads to fatigue and anaemia. It also plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair. Folate or folic acid is a B9 vitamin that can be found in dark green leafy vegetables like kidney beans, asparagus, lentils, spinach, etc.; hence, including it in your diet is a must [4].

4. Your Memory Is Foggy

While occasional forgetfulness occurs at all ages, if you find your brain cannot memorize a small thing, then it is a sign you are not getting enough nutrients. Lutein, a nutrient, has been shown to enhance memory and learning. It is found in carrots, leafy greens, broccoli, corn and tomatoes. This nutrient can also help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration - the two common eye disorders [5].

5. You Find It Hard To Handle Daily Stress

Eating certain foods affects your stress levels significantly. Inflammation is your body's natural response to stress, and if you are not handling stress well, inflammation could have damaging effects on your body. Eat anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, tuna, bright-coloured peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges [6].

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6. You Are Prone To Muscle Cramps

Vegetables contain potassium that helps in preventing muscle cramps, especially when you are exercising. Potassium is an essential mineral that can help prevent muscle cramps and bloating. Potassium can also prevent high blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, anxiety and stress. It also helps to enhance muscle strength and metabolism [7]. Consume more potassium-rich vegetables like spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, acorn squash, Swiss chard, potatoes, kale, mushrooms, pumpkin, etc.

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7. You Get Frequent Infections

Getting infections on a frequent basis is a sign of a weak immune system, malnutrition, and not eating enough vegetables. Without proper nutrition, your body's immunity will become weak to combat the harmful pathogens, and your body will not be able to defend itself from the infection any time soon. So, it's advised that you should include fruits and vegetables of all sorts in your diet to keep ailments and health issues at bay [8].

8. You Have Regular Digestion Issues

If you are often suffering from digestion problems and bloating, this is a clear sign of not adding enough veggies and roughage. Fibre present in vegetables helps in the digestion process, which helps in maintaining bowel regularity [9].

9. You Are At An Increased Risk of Heart Problems

If you have been diagnosed with heart problems and you don't have a family history of this disease, then this can be a sign of not adding enough vegetables to your diet. Coronary heart diseases like heart attacks and angina can lead you to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. People who consume a fewer amount of veggies often end up with heart ailments later on [10].

10. You May Gain Weight Rapidly

Vegetables are packed with dietary fibre that makes you feel full so that you don't feel hungry later on. Most vegetables are low in calories, and eating them will curb your hunger cravings while providing you with crucial nutrients. This will aid in not gaining extra calories while keeping you healthy [11].

11. You May Have Vision Problems

Dark green leafy vegetables and coloured vegetables like carrot and beetroots contain carotenoids that may help prevent age-related vision problems and help improve the eye's visual performance. Carotenoids can help provide protective action against cataracts and prevent macular degeneration and other ageing-related eye diseases [12].

On A Final Note...

Lack of vegetables in your diet can increase your risk of digestive disorders such as constipation, haemorrhoids, and diverticulosis, among several other ailments. Make sure you eat vegetables every day to improve your overall physical and mental health.

Story first published: Sunday, April 18, 2021, 14:22 [IST]