There are critics out there that believe those who mainly eat foods derived from plants are somehow nutritionally deficient. Yet, the truth is that research shows that many nutrients can be found only in plant-based foods.
John D. Grant states in his research that, “[All] vegan, vegetarian and low-meat diets are associated with statistically significant increases in quality of life and modest increases in longevity…It is time to accept that a plant-predominant diet is best for us individually, as a race, and as a planet.” This means that there are definite benefits that come from being a vegetarian, no matter what category you fall into.
Below are 5 nutrients you can get only from enjoying certain fruits and vegetables.
1. Vitamin C
Known for their sour taste, foods that are high in vitamin C are great for protecting your body against the common cold, heal wounds and skin inflammations, as well as maintain the health of your bones, cartilage, gums, and teeth. It’s also crucial for healthy development and growth because it aids in the development of all body tissues.
Plant-based foods rich in vitamin C are:
- Yellow bell peppers
- Winter squash
A naturally occurring form of fiber in fruits and vegetables, pectin is important for lowering high cholesterol levels and diabetes. Plus, it works at preventing certain types of cancer. It also looks after your gut health by promoting the healthy bacteria found in your digestive tract.
Foods high in pectin are:
Quercetin is a pigment found only in plants and is what experts refer to as a flavonoid, which basically means it’s a type of plant chemical. Since quercetin has powerful antioxidant properties, it works great as an anti-inflammatory. It reduces the risk of certain types of cancers, in addition to alleviating allergy symptoms, reducing the risk of infections, heart disease and preserving healthy blood pressure levels.
It can be found in these plant foods:
4. Vitamin A
Initially, when you eat foods that are orange or red in color, you’re eating beta carotene, an antioxidant which gives these foods their bright color. Once digested, beta carotene is converted into vitamin A. An essential mineral, vitamin A helps protect your eyes, as well as keeps your skin healthy and supple. Since it’s a powerful antioxidant, it plays a big part in preventing and treating inflammations.
Luckily, vitamin A can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red bell peppers
Most people link potassium to working out because of its ability to boost metabolism while regulating healthy muscle movements, balance fluids in your body and maintain healthy nerves. And in view of the fact that it’s also an electrolyte, it helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels while reducing the risk of strokes, as well as stress and anxiety.
Foods that contain potassium are:
- Cooked broccoli
- Cooked spinach
- Beans; as lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, and lima beans