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10 reasons to eat more vegetables

Vegetables are an important part of any healthy, balanced diet and help to keep our bodies healthy. It is important you eat enough vegetables- at least the recommended 5 portions a day. 
Research shows that there are compelling benefits of eating a minimum of 5 portions of vegetables each day. A portion of vegetables is 80g. 
The World Health organization (WHO) started a campaign recommending that 400g of fruit and vegetables is beneficial to lower the risk of many common health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. 
Here are 8 reasons why eating 5 a day is beneficial:
1. Vitamins- vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate and potassium. 
2. Fibre- vegetables are a great source of dietary fibre which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut, preventing constipation and other digestive issues. 
3. Reduce risk of common health conditions- Eating a variety of vegetables provides nutrients which reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease, strokes and some cancers. Vegetables are beneficial for reducing risk as they are low in saturated fat which aids heart health. 
4. Live longer- Studies suggest that those who follow a vegetarian diet live 12% longer. Additionally, some studies have shown that those who started a vegetarian diet lost 6.2kg compared to 3.2kg for a meat diet.
5. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes- A diet rich in vegetables creates a low fat diet which provides the body with healthy energy, stabilising blood sugar levels, preventing sugar spikes and thus reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 
6. Healthy diet- Fruit and vegetables should make up around 30% of your diet in order to develop a healthy, balanced diet. 
7. Tasty- Vegetables come in many different forms so everyone can find a few types they enjoy.
8. Low fat and calories- Providing they are steamed, boiled or roasted in little oil, vegetables are low fat and low calorie food that contribute to a healthy weight and keep your heart in good health. 
To receive the maximum benefits of vegetables, try eating a variety of different colours. This will provide you with many vitamins and minerals, allowing maximum benefits. 
Tips on how to eat more vegetables:
1. Breakfast- Grill mushrooms to have with scrambled egg on toast.
2. Lunch- Put some crunch into your sandwich with tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and lettuce. 
3. Dinner- Add chopped carrots or tomatoes into Bolognese sauce. 
4. Snacks- Carrot, peppers and celery batons make great dipping with hummus.