A Dozen Reasons to Eat These Fruits and Veggies

4/14/2016 11:47 AM

According the Centers for Disease control only one in 10 Americans consume an adequate amount of fruits and veggies in their diet.  This is despite numerous health initiatives to try and increase consumption.  Yet, certain activist groups continue to inaccurately disparage the more accessible and affordable fruits and veggies.  The best example is the Environmental Working Group who resorts to calling these healthy foods “toxic,” “contaminated,” and “hazardous” in the release of their annual “Dirty Dozen” list.

In light of these attempts to try and invoke consumer fears about eating conventionally grown fruits and veggies, we thought we would remind people why fruit and veggies are the only food group that health officials urge us to eat more of every day.

Strawberries – Always at the top of the list of kids’ favorite fruit, strawberries are high in Vitamin C, a good source of fiber and provide essential folate, potassium and antioxidants.  While nutrient dense, strawberries are low in sugar. Studies show that berry consumption may positively impact brain and cardiovascular health.

Apples – A recent analysis showed that consumption of two apples a day may cut your stroke risk by one-third.  And remember to eat the peel , which is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

Peaches and Nectarines – Juicy and delicious, these fruits contain 10 different vitamins, plus fiber and potassium.  In addition, peaches and nectarines contain bioactive compounds that may help fight obesity and inflammation.

Celery – While celery is 95% water, it is inaccurate to say this vegetable lacks nutrition.  In fact, celery is rich in fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B.  And, kids love it. 

Cherries – Cherries are a good source of antioxidants, which studies have indicated may reduce the risk of heart disease.  This delicious candy-like fruit also contains anthocyanins, which may help reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease.  Cherries are also a good source of potassium.

Spinach –  Often characterized as a “superfood,” studies have shown that consumption of spinach has many disease-fighting characteristics.  But one study found brain-enhancing benefits too - those who ate one or two servings of spinach on a daily basis had the mental capacity of someone ten years younger.

Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes- Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene.  Lycopene, a potent antioxidant, has been associated with heart and bone health.  Tomatoes are also good sources of potassium, Vitamin C, biotin, Vitamin K, and manganese. 

Bell Peppers – Peppers are rich in Vitamin A and C.  The yellow, orange and red peppers are also high in beta carotene which has been shown to have cancer-fighting benefits and , like carrots, also benefit eye sight, especially in older adults.

Cucumbers – This veggie, which is actually part of the gourd family, is an excellent source of Vitamin K and also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, Vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin B1. If you want prettier nails, cucumbers also contain the important nail health-promoting mineral silica.

Some final reasons to eat more fruits and veggies everyday:  According to a recent study, people who consume seven or more servings of fruits and veggies a day can reduce their risk of premature death by 42%, their risk of heart disease by 31% and their risk of cancer by 25%.  And if that isn’t enough to convince you, studies also show that a diet rich in fruits and veggies results in prettier hair and skin and a better night’s sleep.

Read, learn, choose but eat more fruits and veggies every day for better health and a longer life.

 

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