The benefits of fruits and vegetables, when included in the diet, are among the many long-standing facts with several research findings. This explains why the World Health Organization recommends that everyone includes at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables daily for general health and wellness and in order to reduce vulnerability to diseases. So to say, even most kitchen accessories have fruits and vegetables drawn on them, which should act as a reminder. However, many still don’t know what the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are.
Below is a list of fruits and vegetables to prioritize in your diet.
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweet red peppers
- Dark leafy greens
Below we mention 5 main benefits of fruit and vegetables and explain why you should eat them as much as possible.
1. Improve Cardiovascular Health
A diet composed of fresh fruits and vegetables is effective in lowering your risks of developing heart conditions. For instance, bananas are rich in potassium, which can help in maintaining body blood pressure. Dietary fiber in vegetables and fruits also helps lower the cholesterol levels in the blood and risks of heart disease.
That said, the more you consume fruits and vegetables daily, the less the risks of cardiovascular conditions. A study found that those who eat an average of eight servings per day were 30 percent less likely to develop stroke and heart attacks than those consuming less than 1.5 servings. Specific low carb fruits and vegetables that can improve cardiovascular health include oranges, mustard, cabbage, broccoli, and lemons.
2. A Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
There is no other rich source of essential vitamins and minerals than fruits and vegetables. Among the common vitamins and minerals are:
- Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, heals wounds, and strengthens teeth and gum health.
- Vitamin A from various seasonal fruits and vegetables also helps keep the skin and eyes healthy.
- Folate from various fruits contributes to the formation of red blood cells and reduces neural tube defects in developing infants.
- Calcium is important in forming bones and teeth and the normal functioning of nerves, muscles, and nerves.
- Magnesium helps in bone health and the development of body enzymes.
- Other Vitamin D fruits and vegetables also supplement Vitamin D gained from the sunlight.
3. Lower Risk of Cancer
While there is nothing that can completely eliminate cancer risks, several studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables significantly reduces the risks of developing specific types of cancers. Diets rich in antioxidants, which are found in fruits and vegetables, can lower your risk levels. Including a lot of broccoli, cabbage, and bok choy in your diet provides an additional cancer-fighting mechanism in the body. For instance, a research study concluded that Lycopene from tomatoes can help men reduce the risks of developing prostate cancer.
4. Promote Relaxation
Cruciferous fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, and chard, are good sources of B-complex vitamins and sulfur compounds, contributing to general body relaxation. B-vitamins and sulfur compounds help maintain healthy brain nerves and increase glutathione levels, which enhance the production of dopamine. As you may know, dopamine hormones in the brain give a feeling of enjoyment, reward, and well-being.
On the other hand, green leafy vegetables are excellent calcium and magnesium sources, which work together to promote relaxation. Magnesium is a known natural muscle relaxant, which neutralizes stress through its activity on the GABA receptors.
5. Reduce Inflammation
Deep colored fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, watermelon, pomegranate, and herbs such as basil, cinnamon, and turmeric, are an essential part of an anti-inflammatory diet. By reducing inflammation, fruits and vegetables also help improve heart health, reduce arthritis symptoms, and ward off chronic diseases. Most fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, which protect the body from cellular damage.
Most people eat fruits and vegetables for their vitamins and minerals only. However, these foods provide much more than that. They can also enhance your vision, skin, sex appeal, immune system, and reduce risks of diabetes. That said, which fruits do you think contain the most nutritional value? Share your thoughts below.
Written by Alex Green
About the Author
Alex Green is a copywriter with 3 years of experience. He is fond of healthy living and knows everything about home improvement. In his spare time, Alex likes walking with his golden retriever, meeting with friends, and attending the gym.
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