- No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy.
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.
Tips to eat more vegetables and fruits
- 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 recipse that include more vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fries are just a few ideas for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals.
Vegetables, fruits, and disease.
Although all fruits and vegetables likely contributed to this benefit, green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, were most strongly associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) also made important contributions.
A report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that non-starchy vegetables—such as lettuce and other leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, as well as garlic, onions, and the like—and fruits “probably” protect against several types of cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, and stomach. Fruit probably also protects against lung cancer. Weight
women and men who increased their intakes of fruits and vegetables over a 24-year period were more likely to have lost weight than those who ate the same amount or those who decreased their intake. Berries, apples, pears, soy, and cauliflower were associated with weight loss while starchier vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas were linked with weight gain. However, keep in mind that adding more produce into the diet won’t necessarily help with weight loss unless it replaces another food, such as refined carbohydrates of white bread and crackers.
Legumes or pulses contain nutrients that are especially valuable. Legumes need to be cooked before they are eaten- this improves their nutritional quality, aids digestion and eliminates any harmful toxins .
Fruit and vegetable serving suggestions for your family’s health
Vegetables and fruit are a handy snack food and are easily carried to work or school. Include them in everyone’s meals and snacks for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some suggestions include:
- Keep snack-size fruit and vegetable portions easily accessible in your fridge.
- Keep fresh fruit on the bench or table.
- Add fruit and vegetables to your favourite family recipes or as additions to your usual menus.
- Use the colour and texture of a variety of fruit and vegetables to add interest to your meals.
- Think up new ways to serve fruits and vegetables.
Some simple ways to serve fruits and vegetables include:
- fruit and vegetable salads
- vegetable or meat-and-vegetable stir-fries
- raw fruit and vegetables
- vegetable soups
- snack pack, stewed or canned fruits or dried fruits.