Fruits and vegetables have always been a part of a balanced diet. In addition to increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, variety is just as important. Mix and match different kinds of fruits and vegetable to fully take advantage of their benefits.
Try green leafy vegetables for their rich stores of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and carotenoids. They are also rich in minerals such as calcium and iron.
Try bright red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and strawberries. They are rich in lycopene and anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants that prevent cell death. Lycopene is also known for its anti-cancer properties.
White vegetables such as garlic and onion, on the other hand, are rich in allicin, a phytochemical that helps lower blood cholesterol, as well as strengthen the immune system.
If you are still not sold to committing to a diet with more fruits and vegetables, here are some more ways eating fruits and vegetables can make you healthier:
Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
This is enough evidence to say that having a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the chances of developing or worsening cardiovascular diseases. It has been found out that people with high blood pressures whose diets were modified to include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day had significantly lowered blood pressures, up to as much as what the usual blood pressure control medications can achieve. Several studies also indicate that eating fruits and vegetables significantly lowered the risks of having a stroke or a heart attack by as much as 40%.
As mentioned earlier, fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, contain fiber: an indigestible water-absorbing substance that aids in bowel movement and help prevent and even relieve ongoing constipation.
Decreased Risk of Cancer
There has been compelling evidence that a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is protective against cancer. As mentioned earlier, some fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals such as lycopene that help lessen the risk of developing cancer. Non-starchy vegetables like lettuce and cabbages have also been found to be protective against specific types of cancers such as throat, gastric and mouth cancers.
Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Several studies indicate that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of developing diabetes. Green leafy vegetables, in particular, have a significant blood sugar-lowering effect. In addition to all of this, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables may also entail the replacement of other carbohydrate-rich foods in the diet. This can also be a factor in the glucose-lowering effect of adding more fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. It is important to note, however, that consumption of fruit juice has been associated with greater risks of developing Type 2 Diabetes, so, consume the fruit, instead of extracting the juice.