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How many vegetables per day is enough?

We all know that vegetables are healthy. But how many vegetables per day is enough? And how do you ensure that you really eat enough vegetables every day? This is still an unclear subject for people.

In this blog, we explain how you can ensure that you eat enough vegetables every day. This way you prevent that you secretly leaving your vegetables and opt for an unhealthy snack. So read on and get an answer to, among other things, the question: “how many vegetables should I eat per day?”

Why are vegetables so healthy?

Vegetables are very healthy and important in a versatile diet. Consuming enough vegetables has repeatedly been shown to have positive effects on our health. Some of the benefits of consuming enough vegetables are:

  • Most vegetables are very low in calories
  • Quite a lot of vegetables are rich in water, which counts in your daily water consumption
  • Most vegetables contain little to no fat
  • Vegetables often contain very little sugar
  • Because they are often rich in fiber, they are good for bowel movements, among other things
  • Many vegetables are rich in antioxidants
  • Eating enough vegetables every day can lower the risk of overweight and obesity
  • Eating enough vegetables can help with high blood pressure
  • Consuming vegetables contributes to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • It can protect against different types of cancer

And there are many other benefits that can be linked to all kinds of vegetables. Eating enough vegetables every day can therefore be extremely important for your health and contribute to a healthy weight.

vegetables per day
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Fortunately, there is little to speculate about, as there have been numerous studies that show, time and time again, that vegetables have a huge number of health benefits.

However, the question still remains how many vegetables per day you should eat. Each country has its own standard and surprisingly enough there are quite a few differences to be discovered. You will read this in the next paragraph.

How many grams of vegetables per day is sufficient?

People in the Netherlands are advised to eat 250 grams of vegetables (and two pieces of fruit) every day. The Health Council in Belgium indicates slightly higher values, namely at least 300 grams of vegetables per day. In principle, this should be perfectly feasible, but practice shows that this is disappointing. Especially when you consider that 250 grams of vegetables per day are actually quite little. The advice in the Netherlands and Belgium, therefore, seems somewhat old-fashioned.

An extensive meta-analysis from 2017 shows that 250 grams of vegetables per day is quite low. At least, if we compare this with the health benefits of consuming more vegetables every day. So, how many vegetables per day is really the healthiest?

The meta-analysis, which analyzed no fewer than 95 studies, concluded the following: about 800 grams of fruit and vegetables per day was linked to increased health benefits. So this is fruit and vegetables combined.

This amounts to approximately double the amount recommended by the Dutch government. And to think that most people do not even reach the amounts set by the government. Very unfortunate of course, because eating vegetables doesn't have to be dirty or annoying.

How many grams of vegetables per day is too much?

It is not entirely clear how much vegetables per day are really too much. So what we can say with fairly high certainty is that 800 grams of fruit and vegetables per day still have many health benefits. The chance that someone structurally eats more than 800 grams of fruit and vegetables every day is not very great, since many people do not already achieve the current minimum amount of 250 grams of vegetables.

There is a certain amount of every product that you can eat that you can label as too much. It is therefore not clear exactly how much this is with vegetables, but the chance that you will reach such a limit will be very small.

Cooked or raw vegetables?

The amount of 250 grams of vegetables per day refers to prepared vegetables. This will make little difference for cucumber or snack tomatoes because you usually eat them raw. The amount of grams it is raw is also the amount you eat.

However, for vegetables such as spinach or endive, this makes a lot of difference. These vegetables shrink a lot as soon as you throw them in the pan. What used to be 100 grams of spinach, for example, is probably only about 50 grams after preparation.

So you only eat 50 grams of spinach and not 100 grams. So make sure that you calculate with the number of prepared vegetables and not with the amount of the vegetable if it is still unprepared.

Tips to eat enough vegetables

So now that you know how many vegetables per day are healthy for you, we would like to give you a few handy tips to consume more vegetables every day. This way you can eat more vegetables every day, step by step.

You really don't have to make a complete turnaround right away and eat a lot more vegetables than you do now. Just start with one new activity and make it a habit. You will notice that in the long run, you can make many useful ways to eat more vegetables into habits.

Choose vegetables that you can easily eat raw

Preparing vegetables can make them even tastier, but it takes a lot of time. Vegetables such as carrots, snack or cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and even bell peppers are delicious to eat raw. This way you don't have to spend too much work on preparing your vegetables, but you can just start eating right away.

Buy pre-cut vegetables

To make it a lot easier on yourself, you can opt for pre-cut vegetables. You can find these in the refrigerator section as well as in the freezer in your supermarket. This saves a lot of time, making it a lot easier to eat more vegetables.

Make a tasty smoothie from vegetables

Throw a number of vegetables in your blender and blend them into a nice fresh smoothie. This way you get more vegetables in quite easily and you also have a delicious fresh drink that you can enjoy in peace.

Replace sweet snacks with vegetables

This tip fits in well with the tip to buy raw vegetables. The raw vegetables are very suitable as a healthy snack. For example, take them with you in a container and you have a healthy snack at hand at any time.

Make a richly filled vegetable soup

This does take some work, but of course, you can make multiple portions and even freeze them. Nowadays there are ready-made packages for sale in the supermarket with all individual ingredients to make a tasty fresh vegetable soup. All you have to do is cut the vegetables and then prepare the soup. However, a large bowl of this soup can often contain 200 grams of vegetables, so you are well on your way to that 800 grams of fruit and vegetables in total.

Conclusion: what is the ideal amount of vegetables per day?

So how much vegetables you should eat per day can be 800 grams (combined with fruit). The Dutch government advises 250 grams of vegetables per day, in Belgium, they advise 300 grams. Anyway, this is a nice first goal if you don't achieve it at the moment.

Follow the tips in this blog to ensure that you meet this minimum. If you really want to get on the healthy path, just eat some more. The chance that you eat too many vegetables per day is very small, so you don't have to worry about that.

We only use qualitative sources, such as scientific (meta) studies, to provide the most accurate and reliable advice possible. Although our articles are factually substantiated, we always recommend that you contact a doctor or specialist in case of complaints.
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