Children should eat more vegetables for optimum growth and development

Vegetables have always been recognized as an important part of a healthy diet because they contain the needed vitamins and minerals that our body daily needs.

Health authorities say that consuming between four and eight one cup servings a day gives us a number of benefits which we can not obtain from other food sources.

Vegetables are a rich sources of a number of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin A, among others which are needed by our body on  a daily basis so that we can stay healthy.

Green and yellow vegetables are particularly rich in beta-carotene that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Some may also contain minerals like calcium and iron. When eaten raw or slightly cooked, these vegetables likewise also contribute some vitamin C.

Non-leafy vegetables on the other hand, provide significant amount of nutrients to the diet such as some B-complex vitamins and minerals. They also supply dietary fiber which gives bulk and roughage to the diet and variety to the meal.

Dark green, leafy vegetables such as malunggay, saluyot, ampalaya, sili leaves and kangkong are rich in calcium. Furthermore, vegetables can also help reduce bone deterioration because they decrease the amount of calcium excreted in the urine.

Vegetables contain phytonutrients which are vital to our health. Several dietary studies show that these may not appear to be immediately necessary to the human  diet, but they help the body protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, stroke and bone loss.

Children should be encouraged to eat more vegetables for their optimum growth and development and strong bones and teeth.#