Vegetables have been a staple of the human diet for centuries. They’re readily available, cheap to buy, easy to grow and simple to cook. They are also vital to support our gut health, providing fibre to help keep our bowels moving and feed our friendly bacteria, and vitamins and minerals to support digestion. November is ‘Veg Pledge Month’ – the perfect time to discover more.
Vegetables help to supply us with nourishing, wholesome meals that can be eaten with or without meat – they are the cornerstone of human nutrition. With thousands of species of edible plants in the world, vegetables can be enjoyed by all of the family.
To keep your gut healthy, aim for 8-10 portions of vegetables a day and 25 different vegetables over the course of a week.
As November is ‘Veg Pledge Month’, here are 20 vegetable facts to inspire you:
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene – this converts to vitamin A in the body
- Radishes were paid as ‘wages’ to the ancient Egyptian labourers who built the pyramids
- Excessive consumption of carrots can turn your skin a yellowish orange, this is called Carotenemia
- Vegetables play a role in hydration as they often contain significant amounts of water
- Although technically a fungus, mushrooms are often thought of as a vegetable and contain vitamin D. Exposing mushrooms to UV light can help to increase the amount of vitamin D they contain
- Aubergines are known as ‘crazy apple’ in Italy due to the widespread belief that they lead to madness. They are full of vitamins B1 and B6
- Tropical yams can grow up to 9 feet long. They are a great source of fibre and a staple in the West African diet
- Fermented vegetables are rich in gut friendly bacteria that support digestion
- Soybeans are loaded with iron, providing around 15mg per 100g
- Corn is a member of the grass family – most of it is now genetically modified
- Vegetables are rich in prebiotic fibre that provides the ideal environment for friendly bacteria to flourish in the gut
- Tomatoes were once named a vegetable by the US supreme court for taxation purposes. They are bursting with vitamin C
- Half of the world’s population share a gene that allows them to enjoy the taste of Brussel sprouts – they are genetically incapable of tasting highly bitter compounds called glucosinolates that are found in all cabbages. The other half are not so lucky!
- Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA achieved this in 1995
- In ancient Egypt, onions were a symbol of eternity and were part of burial ceremonies, as well as part of the mummification process. A great prebiotic, did our predecessors know the myriad of health benefits this humble vegetable contained?
- Although many of us discard the skin of a vegetable, it’s often where most of the fibre and nutrients are stored
- Broccoli is an excellent source of protein, offering up to 11g of protein per 100g weight
- Vegetable seeds can be used to grow sprouted versions that are rich in B vitamins and selenium
- Enjoy fresh, frozen, canned (in water without salt or sugar preferably), fermented or dried vegetables – they all provide essential nutrients
- Kale is jam-packed with vitamin K and is also a terrific source of calcium
If you would like to know more about Veg Pledge month, please check out some of these supporting articles:
- Veg Pledge for Cancer Research UK – Cancer Research UK
- Do you pledge to go veg? – Avan Thomes
- Take the Veg Pledge: easy tips for vegan November – Bonsan
Want to know more?
ProVen Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth ProVen research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107