Why are vegetables important in our diet?

Vegetables are brilliant- bursting with nutrition, and providing colour and flavour to our dishes. Find out why they are so good nutritionally.

On the whole, vegetables tend to be low in fats, sugars and energy, and some, such as peas, can be high in fibre and/or protein. There is a very wide variety of different vegetables available, and eating a range of these in your diet will help you to boost your fibre and protein intakes. Why not try a colourful vegetable stir fry, including vegetables such as broccoli, peppers and even spinach?


Upping our fibre intakes

Unlike protein, fibre is something we should all be trying to eat more of. The fibre found in vegetables tends to be insoluble, sometimes known as ‘roughage’. EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) has set a European dietary reference value of 25g dietary fibre per day.. Vegetables are a great way to get extra fibre into our diets!

Bursting with vitamins and minerals

Vegetables also contain a large variety of vitamins and minerals, with different vegetables containing their own assortment of these. This is why it’s recommended that we eat a variety of different vegetables- more variety means we consume a wider selection of different vitamins and minerals. For example, of our key Birds Eye vegetables,

  • Peas and Soya beans contain nutrients including vitamin C, folate and thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • Broccoli contains nutrients including vitamin C and folate
  • Green Beans and sweetcorn contain nutrients including folate

These vitamins and minerals all have a variety of different roles in the body. Of these vitamins, vitamin C is important for the immune and nervous systems, folate helps immune function and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and vitamin B1 (thiamin) helps maintain heart function, normal metabolism and nervous system functioning.

Iron and calcium are key minerals found in some vegetables, with very important roles in the body. Calcium is of vital importance for healthy bones and teeth, and normal muscle function, while iron is involved in cognitive brain function, immunity, normal red blood cell oxygen transport, and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Eating enough iron is especially important for teenage girls and pre-menopausal women, to prevent the development of iron deficiency anaemia. Did you know that our soya beans are sources of iron?

To see our range of vegetables products, visit the vegetable product area.

We all need protein

Protein is a very important nutrient, and certain vegetables can be a great protein source for people following vegetarian and vegan diets. How much protein we need varies by the individual, with needs dependant on factors including body weight, and it is vital to the growth, repair and maintenance of the body. For example, protein helps promote muscle growth, and maintains normal bones and muscle mass. The good news is that most of us in Europe eat enough protein to meet our needs, however for a boost why not try our protein-packed Birds Eye peas tonight?