Lisa Simpson tried to convert the cartoon world's most dedicated carnivores — Homer and Bart — by declaring: "Good news, everyone! You don't have to eat meat! I've got enough gazpacho for everyone." That's because Lisa knows veggies can clear up everything from your digestion to your complexion, and help prevent cancers, heart disease, depression and even impotence and orgasmic dysfunction.
So whether you eat your seven to nine servings a day or, like 77 percent of Americans, you can't find a veggie anywhere on your dinner plate, here are five little-known powers of vegetables, for the New Year and a new you.
A vegetable-rich diet makes it easier to quit smoking: People who eat the most veggies are three times more likely to quit smoking and stay smoke-free than the veggie-deprived.
Asparagus prevents a hangover: Phytonutrients in asparagus help metabolize chemicals that produce the morning-after headache. That's the spear-it!
Kids who eat their veggies have higher IQs: Breast-fed young-uns who went on to eat legumes, cheese, fruit, and vegetables at 15 and 24 months had IQs that were an average of two points higher by age 8.
Veggie-eating adults have bigger brains: Getting plenty of plant-based vitamins C, D, E, and the Bs plus omega-3 fatty acids (we always recommend algal DHA-omega-3s) protects against Alzheimer's-associated brain shrinkage — and that strengthens memory and thinking skills.
Veggies make you happier: And happier means less stress, better sex, fewer wrinkles, fewer colds, and a longer life!
So eat your seven to nine servings a day and smile!
© 2013 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.