Can I take a vitamin pill and be healthy without eating vegetables and fruits?
- Why do I have to eat vegetables and fruits to be healthy? Can't I just take a vitamin pill?
Most doctors recommend that healthy adults take a daily multi-vitamin supplement, but vitamin pills are not a substitute for real nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Researchers and scientists have been studying nutrition for a while now, so we know quite a bit about the vitamins and minerals that are necessary to sustain a healthy body. But we don't know everything. We're always discovering new components of our food that benefit us in unexpected ways.
For instance we now know that lycopene (found in tomatoes and other red fruits) is important in preventing cancer; and these days you'll find it in your multi-vitamin. But before we knew about lycopene and made sure it was in your vitamin pill, you might not have ingested enough lycopene if you were not eating tomatoes.
- Does it matter if my vegetables are raw or cooked?
Yes, but not in the way you may be thinking. We used to believe that raw was better, but in fact a few nutrients like lycopene in tomatoes are easier for our bodies to use when they are cooked. Recent findings suggest that for the most part, cooking does not deplete vegetables of their wholesome vitamin and mineral content, and in some cases makes the vegetables better for us.
So by all means cook your vegetables if you like them better that way. With the exception of boiling, which leaches as much as 50% of vitamins and minerals from vegetables, any low fat way of preparing your vegetables and fruit so that you like to eat more of them, is a good way.
- Yeah, but I don't want to take the time to eat these things, and besides they fille me up.
That's the point. An important part of your eating experience is taking the time to experience your food, and get that filled-up feeling. Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of fiber which helps you feel full longer, and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
The extra time you have to spend chewing your salad and green beans is important too. When you chew longer your brain has time to realize that your stomach is full and you'll be less likely to overeat.