Step 1/ Drink 1 pint of plain water daily. Step 2/ Add a healthy fat to breakfast. Step 3/ Cooked vegetables in the evening.
Eating vegetables in the evening does two things for us: it decreases systemic inflammation and improves gut health via fiber.
Low-level, chronic inflammation is associated with 7 of the 10 leading causes of mortality. Vegetables are the pound-for-pound king of anti-inflammatory nutrients. If we want to stay alive we need to eat vegetables.
Vegetables are also the most potent food source of fiber (prebiotics), which act as fertilizer for good bacteria in the gut.
For now, try to eat cooked vegetables in the evening. There are benefits to cooking vegetables as well as to eating them raw, but for the sake of digestion overnight and because most of us like a hot meal in the evening, we’ll save raw vegetables for another time.
Cooking vegetables breaks down the plants thick cell walls and aids the body’s uptake of some nutrients bound to those cell walls.
Two examples are tomatoes and carrots. When to compared to their raw counterparts, cooked tomatoes have 35% more of the antioxidant Lycopene and cooked carrots have increased levels of the antioxidant Beta-carotene. You’ll get similar anti-inflammatory benefits with many other cooked vegetables. (And yes, I know tomatoes are fruit...)
Increased absorption of anti-oxidants and improved gut health before bed will result in a better night’s sleep. A better night’s sleep will result in a more productive day tomorrow, so make it a habit to eat cooked vegetables with dinner every night.