Effects of Green Leafy Vegetables and Fruits on Health
A potential benefit of green leafy vegetables and fruits in providing vitamins and other trace materials has long been known. New research from University of Leicester concludes their beneficial effect on type II diabetes.
Green leafy vegetables traditionally include cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, and some herbs like parsley and dill. These contain a lot of fiber, polyphenols, Group B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C and other trace elements.
The fibers, soluble and insoluble, increase colon transit time of food residue, help to form bulk of stool, absorb toxins and provide an ideal environment for growth of good bacteria. Recently a group of scientists propose that a low level of endotoxin flow exits from the intestine to circulation and particularly those following sedentary lifestyle.
Endotoxin is produced by the bacterial flora that naturally inhabit intestines. These endotoxins flood liver, set inflammation, derange the glucose metabolism, set insulin resistance and, in this way, may help diabetes to set in. It is possible that the fibers from the vegetables may flush away the toxins along with it and thus prevent diffusion into the circulation. This mechanism may play a role in preventing diabetes.
Fiber in the diet eases constipation and lessens the contact period of toxins with the colonic inner cell lining, and thus may prevent colon cancer. Polyphenols, beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium and polyunsaturated fatty acid contents in fruits and leafy vegetables may act as an antioxidant.
It is paradoxical that consumption of some vegetables may give rise to certain diseases. Ingredients present in cabbage may cause hypothyroid and form goiter. Absorption of iron, calcium and certain other minerals is decreased if taken along with green leafy vegetables. These fibers after fermentation in the intestine may cause flatulence and discomfort in the abdomen.
The beneficial effects may not be seen if given in form of food supplements.
Balanced consumption of green leafy vegetable and fruits may help people in many ways.