Vegetables tend to be the food group many people constantly find themselves both loving and hating. I love them because they're good for my family, prevent health issues, and I know how to cook them to please my personal taste. The hate part of the relationship often comes when my kids starting throwing them off the table and I have to start sneaking some greens into their meals. I know sneaking veggies can be controversial, but it's necessary when I start to notice the weird signs you aren't eating enough vegetables to watch out for.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines suggest people eat at least three to five servings of vegetables per day. However, it's also important to take into consideration age, sex, and daily activity to pinpoint a healthy amount of personal vegetable intake. Unfortunately, most people aren't eating enough vegetables on a daily basis, even though many think their intake is good. Missing a day here or there may go unnoticed, but consistently overlooking vegetables can be the catalyst of a mind-boggling amount of health issues, big and small.
If you find yourself constantly wondering why you feel a certain way or why you're having trouble in a specific area (mentally or physically), you may want to start looking out for these weird signs you're not eating enough vegetables.
1. Your Anxiety and Stress Is On The Rise
In an interview with Reader's Digest, registered dietitian Dr. Abby Sauer said not getting enough vegetables triggers your body's natural reaction to stress: inflammation. Furthermore,Health magazine noted that green leafy vegetables contain folate, which creates dopamine and helps you stay more relaxed. So, if you notice high anxiety or are feeling more stressed than usual, up your vegetable intake.
2. You're Constantly Tired
Folic acid and B vitamin deficiency can cause fatigue and even anemia, according to LIVESTRONG. If you're not getting enough starchy veggies or dark leafy greens, you may find yourself wondering why you're constantly tired.
3. You're Bloated Or Have An Upset Stomach
Although there's a laundry list of reasons that stomach discomfort and bloating occurs, Daily Health Remedies noted that not eating the right food is the most common cause. Vegetables play such a major role in preventing upset stomach because they contain fiber, which helps with digestion and prevents bloating.
4. You're Always Sick
To keep your immune system strong, vegetables are a necessity. If you're constantly feeling under the weather, it may be time to up your vegetable intake to get the amount of nutrients and vitamins your body needs to stay well. Bustle noted that vegetables, like mushrooms and broccoli, have historically been used to fight off sickness and disease.
5. You Have Frequent Bruising Or Bleeding Gums
According to Reader's Digest, lack of vitamin C can lead to frequent bruising and bleeding around the gums. Some of the best veggies to snack on that contain vitamin C are broccoli, cabbage, spinach, peppers and Brussels sprouts.
6. You're Experiencing Difficulty Losing Weight
When people aren't getting enough vegetables, they often find themselves hungry more often and fill their hunger with unhealthier foods as a result. As a result, LIVESTRONG noted that skipping vegetables often leads to weight gain.
7. You Can't Think Clearly
Everyone has the occasional bout of forgetfulness, but according to Reader's Digest, not eating enough veggies can lead to consistent inefficiency, slower ability to process and inability to recall things with ease. If you feel your brain is foggy, upping your vegetable intake could be the boost you need to get brain function back to normal.