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8 clear signs you’re not eating enough vegetables

8 clear signs you’re not eating enough vegetables
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You know veggies are good for you. You may also think you’re eating enough. The truth is, you probably aren’t. Read on to discover the many ways in which your body is telling you that it needs more fruit and vegetables, and what nutrients it craves.

How many veggies do you need to eat, anyway?

How many veggies do you need to eat, anyway?
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You may think you eat enough vegetables, but more than likely, you don’t. On average, we only get two servings of vegetables per day. The Australia Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat five servings of vegetables (one serve equals 75 g of vegetables, approximately half a cup of cooked or one cup of salad veg) and two servings of fruit (one serve equals 150 g, about one apple or two apricots) per day. Skipping key nutrients can seriously affect your overall health.

There’s a lack of colour on your plate

There’s a lack of colour on your plate
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We’ve come a long way since the old meat and two veg. But there are still plenty of people that stick to the simple formula. However, “it isn’t very colourful or loaded with balanced nutrition,” says dietitian Abby Sauer. “And even though they may be favourites, pasta, rice and bread don’t add much colour or much nutrition to your meals in terms of essential vitamins and minerals.”

Eating a diet rich in vegetables will also help if you’re looking to shed some kilos. Here are 50 things your doctor wishes you knew about losing weight. 

You bruise easily

You bruise easily
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Consuming too little vitamin C can cause you to bruise easily, as well as increase bleeding around gums and slow the healing process. Vitamin C can be consumed by eating red capsicums, kale, red chilli peppers, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts and tomatoes.

You’re tired all the time

You’re tired all the time
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Deficiency in folate can cause fatigue and anaemia. This B vitamin can be found in dark leafy greens, legumes and starchy vegetables such as black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, asparagus and lentils.

Of course, constant tiredness can also be linked to poor sleep. Here are 25 things you need to know about sleep right now.

That nagging cold won’t go away

That nagging cold won’t go away
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“If you lack vegetables in your diet and the important vitamins they provide, your body may lack the defences it needs to release free radical fighters against viruses,” says Sauer. “Stock your fridge with dark leafy green vegetables, an excellent source of vitamin C, to give your immune system a boost and help shorten your recovery time.”

Here are some more reasons your cold and flu symptoms might linger.

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Your memory is foggy

Your memory is foggy
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While occasional forgetfulness can affect all ages, if you find your brain’s processing speed and efficiency fading as you get older, a lack of nutrients could be the culprit. “Lutein, a nutrient which has been shown in early research to enhance learning and memory, can be found in a variety of vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, corn and tomatoes,” says Sauer. “Adding a few or all of these vegetables to your weekly meals can provide a helpful and natural brain boost.”

These weird exercises will also help to improve your memory. 

Daily stressors are getting harder to handle

Daily stressors are getting harder to handle
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While stress is an inevitable part of life, how we eat and treat ourselves directly affects our body’s response. “Inflammation is your body’s natural response to stress, so if you’re not handling stress well, inflammation and its damaging effects could be taking place,” says Sauer. “Foods rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as unsaturated fatty acids [like salmon and tuna], antioxidants, polyphenols and carotenoids [like green leafy vegetables and bright-coloured capsicums] can help lower the levels of inflammation in the body and increase your mental capabilities to handle life’s curveballs.”

Here are some more ways to make handling stress easier. 

You’re prone to muscle cramps

You’re prone to muscle cramps
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Fruit and vegetables contain potassium that may prevent muscle cramps, especially if you exercise regularly or spend a lot of time outside in the hot summer months, says dietitian Dr Emily Rubin. “One medium banana has 422 mg of potassium.”

Your scales won’t budge

Your scales won’t budge
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“Fruit and vegetables have fibre, which makes you feel full so you eat less,” says Rubin. “Most fruit and vegetables are low in kilojoules. Fruit may also help with those sweet cravings. Choosing a bowl of strawberries instead of ice cream can save you 800 kilojoules.”

Have you also looked at your liquid intake? Drink your way to losing a few kilos.

 

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– The Reader’s Digest team