Just look at the food pyramid to realize the importance of fruits and vegetables: they are a basic pillar for healthy eating. Or rather, they should be. There are many options to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet, where vegetables are the protagonists, accompanied by meats and fish, legumes, dairy or cereals, the base of the pyramid. We all know how important they are,
but have you ever wondered what would happen if you cut them off from your diet?
The short and simple answer would be that, we will be left without the nutrients that both fruits and vegetables provide us. As much as you try to look for alternative foods from the vitamins or minerals that fruits and vegetables provide, you will never find them in the same amounts as in them, and your body will suffer. Another option is to look for those nutrients in the supplements, but as you know, they are artificial nutrients, so they are not the perfect choice.
The dramatic consequences of a diet without fruits or vegetables
Let’s see now the long answer, which begins with the absence of vitamins A and C. It is a key vitamin for the strengthening of defenses, so a diet without fruits or vegetables will weaken the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick or suffering from coagulation problems, anemia, etc. You will not receive carotenoids either, which together with the water and these two vitamins are responsible for keeping the skin in good condition, also affecting your skin beauty.
If you dispense with fruits and vegetables, you will also be exposing yourself to a series of digestive and cardiovascular problems. As much as whole grains or legumes provide fiber, the best source of dietary fiber is always fruits and vegetables. These substitutes will not provide enough fiber, so intestinal problems such as constipation, damage to the colon or diverticular diseases will begin to appear. A chronic constipation may require, in the most important cases, a surgical intervention.
Regarding cardiovascular problems, the lack of water provided by these vegetables as well as minerals such as potassium, in addition to the fiber deficit that we have just discussed, increases the risk of hypertension, circulation problems, atherosclerosis, etc. Studies have shown that relate the lack of fruits and vegetables during childhood with the development of arterial stiffness once they have grown. These arterial problems can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Another effect of the absence of fruits and vegetables in the diet is that you will gain weight, but without acquiring the necessary nutrients. These vegetables have very few calories, but when replacing fruits and vegetables with other foods with a higher caloric content you will gain weight. Most of these foods have animal origin, or are fried; and reduce the intake of vitamin A, vitamin C or vitamin K, minerals such as potassium or magnesium, causing malnutrition problems. Overweight can give way to these chronic diseases.
As you can see, eliminating fruits and vegetables from your diet is not the right decision you can make. Your health and your body will suffer badly, there is also the aesthetic content; and if the absence of these foods that are so important to us occurs already in childhood, the child will have problems when he grows up. Eating fruits and vegetables increases our quality of life and longevity, and their total absence in our diet can cause death in the medium term. You know, eat 5 pieces of fruit a day and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a week. Your body will thank you.