One of my main goals in 2017 is to be a better resource for the community both personally and professionally. In reflecting over the last few years I have seen amazing “Aha’s” from people that joined in on one of my challenges; the “7 Day Sugar Free Challenge,” the “Spring Clean your Body for 7 Days Challenge,” and the “Get Ready for Summer Challenge”. Having specific goals and doing something as a group seems to spark our motivation. Throughout this year I am going to challenge the community to take on a different, basic, healthy habit for just 7 days.
The “Four-A-Day Veggie Challenge” is simple: eat at least 4 servings of veggies EVERY DAY for 7 Days. Eating more fresh vegetables is one of the simplest choices you can make to improve your overall health. A vegetable-rich diet can help protect you from arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer, and can even help slow down your body’s aging process.
Tragically, very few actually get a healthy amount of veggies in their diet. As noted by Time magazine, vegetable consumption has actually declined over the past five years.
“About half of the total U.S. population eats less than 1.5 cups of vegetables a day. And a whopping 87 percent don’t reach the recommended minimum goal of 2 to 3 cups a day.”
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM EATING MORE VEGGIES:
Healthy glowing skin – Courtesy of their higher water and phytochemical content, vegetables help produce that healthy “glow.” Many vegetables are also known for their anti-aging benefits, helping firm your skin and combat wrinkles.
Weight management – Low in calories and high in fiber, eating plenty of vegetables can help you lose and manage your weight in more ways than one. Just filling up on veggies so you “crowd” out the bad stuff rivals the more complicated diets.
Improves gut health and keeps you “regular” – Constipation is one of the most common bowel problems, impacting nearly 1 in 5 Americans at any given time. It’s uncomfortable, and can cause bloating and painful cramps. The fiber and water in vegetables can help prevent this scenario, and promotes optimal gut health in general by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria.
Improves energy, mood, and psychological well-being – Vegetables help boost energy levels, especially if you cut out sugar and processed foods at the same time. Recent research shows higher vegetable intake can also help you feel calmer and improves your mental well-being.
Reduces risk for chronic disease – Vegetables help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.