Evidence shows that there are many important health benefits to having at least five servings of a diverse range of fruit and vegetables per day. That is 5 servings of fruit and vegetables in total, not five servings of each. A serving of fruit is typically 80g. Obviously you can’t eat any fruit for this amount of time. However, vegetables can be consumed all day long.
A diet lacking in fibre is like an engine that will not function properly. Your digestive system will become clogged with waste and toxins and it will take longer to break down the foods you eat. A diet that lacks fibre is like an automobile that won’t get around very easily. Your body will feel tired and fatigued much more often because your digestive system has to work overtime. The result is that your body gets little energy and no nutrients. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables reduces your dependence on processed foods.
The colour groups of fruits and vegetables also have nutritional value. They provide a wide range of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and fibre. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins B, C, D, E and K. Vitamin B helps protect your skin and teeth from the damage caused by free radicals, helping you to prevent them from leading to disease and premature aging. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin D helps to maintain a healthy bone density and it prevents infection and helps with strong bones and muscles.
Vegetables are full of fibre. Most vegetables have at least five grams of fibre in a serving. With this much fiber, the body goes a long way to help itself to absorb all the nutrients in the foods you eat. This is one of the benefits of eating lots of fruit and vegetables; they are fantastic for your health and wellbeing.
The best way to eat a well balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables is to incorporate different fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. Eating a varied diet of fruits and vegetables is the most effective way to get all the nutrients you need. For example, tomatoes have a lot of antioxidants but only a few fibres. Leafy greens like spinach have a lot of phytochemicals that are good for you. But, only a little of lettuce and a little red cabbage. If you eat a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables you ensure you get all the nutrients you need.
When shopping for fruit and vegetables, check the label for colour – dark coloured produce contain more antioxidant power than do lighter coloured produce. The amount of nutrients and fibre contained by the fruit or vegetable will be listed. Some foods will only have a small amount of nutrients and fibres, while others will have very high amounts.
There are many different foods like dark leafy greens, red peppers and red apples that help protect against degenerative diseases like heart disease. Vegetables like broccoli and carrots also help protect your arteries and improve your circulation. Even eating a piece of pizza with some vegetables baked inside or sliced directly from a fruit can help protect your heart.
If you can’t stand the taste of bitter-tasting vegetables, you can opt for those with a sweeter taste like apples, carrots and cucumbers. These types of produce contain plant chemicals that help ward off cancer-causing free radicals. The better quality fruits and vegetables have a higher level of phytochemicals and fibre. Phytochemicals and fibre are good for your body because they bind with dangerous free radicals and toxins in your body and help prevent them from damaging healthy cells.