The 17th of June is the day when you can become a spinach supporter, a fan of French beans or even a cauliflower champion. Yes, it’s that time of year when we throw away our unhealthy snacks and dive head-first into the vitamin-packed world of scrumptious veggies.
Don’t worry if cabbages and carrots aren’t normally your thing. We’re here to show you how to have a veg-tastic day without it feeling like a chore!
The first use of the word vegetable in the English language appears to come in the 15th century and was used to cover all types of plants. But that doesn’t mean that broccoli, peas, and other tasty stuff suddenly sprung into life at that time. Humans have always eaten veggies, and even further back in time, most dinosaurs also used to enjoy nibbling on leaves and other plants too.
At first, our distant ancestors would simply gather what they could find locally. But once they developed an agricultural society, they were able to cultivate exotic vegetables and modify existing plants to get better, more nutritious food. Take a look at some pretty grizzly photos of early carrots and sweetcorn to understand that what we tuck into today is the result of centuries of domestication.
National Eat Your Veggies Day is part of National Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Month, which aims to encourage us to return to the simple, healthy pleasures of a vegetable-rich diet. For many people, the temptation of all the different options now available has caused them to eat fewer veggies than they should.
Studies show that almost three-quarters of Brits feel bad about not eating the recommended five portions a day. We used to eat an average of 400g worth of veg a day in the 1950s but that declined to 128g recently, although there are signs that the British appetite for fresh veggies is returning.
Vegetables are a crucial part of our diet, as they make our immune system stronger and can help us to fight off diseases and feel fitter. If you plan to lose some weight, then they are ideal for helping to fill you up in a way that keeps your calorie count low too.
So, how can you best celebrate this day?
You don’t need to eat a dozen raw Brussel’s sprouts for breakfast or dine on celery shakes to live a healthier life. Just look for a cool way to eat more veggies and your body will thank you for it. Lettuce know how you get on!