Wednesday, December 21, 2016

10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Like many Americans, you may not eat enough fruits and vegetables. With summer around the corner and seasonal fruits and vegetables plentiful, there’s no reason not to add more of these nutritional powerhouses to your diet.

Here are 10 reasons why you should eat more fruits and vegetables.


1. Fruits and vegetables are good for your health. They are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, which help to eliminate harmful free radicals called oxidants that result from the oxidation process. Free radicals are believed to contribute to a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Antioxidants also may help to boost the immune system.


2. There is something for everyone in the world of fruits and vegetables so arguing that you “don’t like them” doesn’t cut it. The variety of fruits and vegetables on grocery store shelves today is astounding, so you are sure to find some that you enjoy.


3. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy, even if you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to cook, since many fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw. Just wash them well and enjoy. As a result, they are great for busy people who don’t have a lot of time for food preparation.


4. They can help you stick to a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, since they are filling and, in many instances, have surprisingly few calories. Two medium-sized fresh apricots have only about 34 calories, five medium asparagus spears have only 16 calories, and a medium sized apple has less than 75 calories.


5. Many fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, which is good for your digestive health. It is recommended that on average you should get 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. A medium apple has about 3.3 grams of fiber and a medium banana has about 3.1 grams of fiber, so eating just one apple or one banana will provide about 10% of your daily fiber requirement.


6. Eating more fruits and vegetables will make you a good role model for your kids. You will have more credibility when you tell them to have an apple not a cookie as an afternoon snack if you have an apple in your hand.


7. Fruits and vegetables are delicious.


8. They are versatile. They can be eaten at any meal and at any time of the day, and they can be prepared any way you like, baked, fried, broiled, grilled, sautéed, boiled, micro waved or pureed, and, of course, many can be eaten raw. As a result of their versatility, they can find a place in any meal and any course.


9. You probably are not getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that most people eat at least 3 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.


10. Eating more locally grown fruits and vegetables helps to support your local economy and your local farmers. It addition, it is good for the environment, because less energy is used to get these products to the local market than those grown elsewhere.


Sources:


www.wisegeek.com, What are Antioxidants?


www.dole5aday.com, Nutrition Chart/Dole Superkids


life.familyeducation.com, How much fiber to eat in your diet – FamilyEducation.com


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