Although a big salad or green smoothie might feel like the healthiest meal of all time, there are a few instances in which veggies aren't your best friend. In fact, the surprising times you shouldn't eat vegetables might come as news to even the most dedicated health nuts. Every once in a while, it's actually better to pass on that plate of broccoli.
For the most part, veggies are seriously healthy, and nothing is about to change that. "A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check," according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. No nutritionist worth their kale will argue against the health benefits of vegetables. Outside of obvious reasons to avoid vegetables, such as contamination scares, most people could benefit from more leafy greens in their diet (myself included).
But there are a few scenarios, health concerns, or even social situations that might make certain veggies less than palatable. Read on to learn about the times it's wise to skip the crudités.
1. Before A Big Race
If you're gearing up for a half-marathon or other endurance event, go easy on the broccoli the night before. "When you start to exercise, the blood is flowing to the muscles that are working, and less blood going to your stomach that can help digest your food," said Alissa Rumsey, RD, in Everyday Health. "So if you've eaten recently and the food isn't really digested, it could cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea." No one wants that before (or during) the big race.
2. After Dental Surgery
Getting a tooth removed or a dental implant placed can restrict your diet for a while, and this can include some vegetables. In fact, acidic foods including tomatoes are best avoided right after dental surgery, according to the website for Brooks Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. It could irritate your healing mouth.
3. Before A Romantic Night
There's one veggie you might want to avoid before a romantic evening, and that is asparagus. Because it contains asparagusic acid and a few other smelly compounds, eating asparagus will result in smelly urine for a bit, as noted in HuffPost. Maybe order a side of creamed spinach with your meal instead.
4. When You're Dealing With Crohn's
Each person with Crohn's disease experiences the condition a little differently, as noted in WebMD. Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, or other veggies in their raw state, may worsen the stomach issues associated with Crohn's disease, as noted in Everyday Health. Cooked veggies may be a safer bet, although some people with the condition may need to avoid veggies entirely during a flare-up.
5. During A Big Event
If you're prone to issues with gastric distress, or simply gas, then don't load up on certain veggies before a big event. "Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli and cauliflower, contain complex sugars that you can't digest," said nutritionist Katie Cavuto in Redbook. "They're called raffinose, and they can produce gas." Maybe pass on the cauliflower before your big meeting or best friend's wedding.
6. Prior To Surgery
OK, if you're actually about to get surgery, then follow your doctor's nutritional advice. Just note that in general, vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant may interfere with anesthesia or bleeding time, according to the website of Jon B. Turk, MD. Ask your doctor whether to cut these from your diet in the days leading up to surgery.
7. When You're Watching Sodium Intake
Fresh veggies aren't necessarily a concern here, but you may want to double-check those canned vegetables. Sodium is often used as a preservative in canned vegetables, so look for reduced-sodium options or rinse your canned veggies before eating, as noted by the International Food Information Council Foundation. Vegetables are a healthy component of most every diet, as long as you know how to prepare them and when, on occasion, it's OK to skip the Brussels sprouts.
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