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Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity.
No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat plenty every day.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss. Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.

At least nine different families of fruits and vegetables exist, each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to health. Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. This not only ensures a greater diversity of beneficial plant chemicals but also creates eye-appealing meals.

Tips to eat more vegetables and fruits each day

Keep fruit where you can see it. Place several ready-to-eat washed whole fruits in a bowl or store chopped colorful fruits in a glass bowl in the refrigerator to tempt a sweet tooth.

Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety and color are key to a healthy diet. On most days, try to get at least one serving from each of the following categories: dark green leafy vegetables; yellow or orange fruits and vegetables; red fruits and vegetables; legumes (beans) and peas; and citrus fruits.

Skip the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with different nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydrates.

Make it a meal. Try cooking new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fries are just a few ideas for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals.

There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.


What are the potential benefits?

When eaten in moderation, fruit can be a very healthy part of a nutritious diet. Some benefits from eating fruit include:

Fruits contain fiber, which can help lower your cholesterol and encourage regular bowel movements. Apples, pears, blackberries, and raspberries are examples of fruits high in dietary fiber.

Oranges, red peppers, and strawberries are examples of fruits that contain lots of vitamin C. This helps keep teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C also supports the immune system.

Bananas, guavas, cantaloupe, and mangos are examples of fruits higher in potassium. Potassium can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and regulate fluid balance in the body.

Oranges and tropical fruits such as mangos are high in folate. This can help the body produce red blood cells. Folate also supports healthy fetal development. Looking for fruits that are low in sugar? Try these.
Black plums, prunes, and all berries are examples of fruits rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals. They can protect your skin and fight off illness.

What are the potential risks?
Several nutrients that are vital for overall health are lacking in a fruit-based diet.

This includes:

  • protein
  • fat
  • calcium
  • B vitamins
  • omega-3 fatty acids

Due to the diet’s highly restrictive nature, malnourishment is a significant concern. Your body might even go into starvation mode. This means that your metabolism will slow as it attempts to hold onto your nutritional stores and conserve energy.

You may also experience anemia, fatigue, and a reduced immune system. Over time, the lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis.

A fruit-based diet is also very heavy on sugar, even though it’s a natural source. This may make it a poor choice for people with diabetes, prediabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or insulin resistance.


Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Even if you decide to include meat sometimes, there are some serious health benefits to incorporating more plant-based foods into your routine. People who eat plant-based diets tend to have fewer heart-related issues, a lower risk for certain types of cancers and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Plus, people who follow-plant based diets tend to be more successful with weight loss. The reason? Mainly fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. This unassuming nutrient keeps us satisfied for longer after meals, which helps us consume fewer calories overall. Read more about the benefits of eating more fiber.

What to Eat on a Vegetarian Diet

  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts, nut butters and seeds (including chia and flax)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, bulgur, freekeh, whole-wheat, oats, brown rice and more)
  • Soy (tofu, edamame, tempeh)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy (yogurt, kefir, cheese, milk)
  • Eggs
  • Healthy fats (such as olives, olive oil, avocado)

Comments (1)

  • Takudzwa
    April 23, 2022 at 8:21 am Reply

    Very informative thank you.

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