Vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and phytochemicals that are vital for good health. They also contain powerful antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful free radicals that have been linked to several diseases. Vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in dietary fibre.
Nutrients in vegetables can be destroyed by heat. This not only occurs through cooking but can also include food-processing techniques such as canning, bottling and drying. Wherever possible it is best to eat vegetables raw to maintain maximum nutritional value.
Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers. As a nation, the UK only manages three out of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.