It's no Secret! Fruits and Vegetables are Essential for your Health

Fruits and Vegetables are Essential for Health - No Kidding!​

Fruits and vegetables are essential for good health. They contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which lower cholesterol and promote gastrointestinal health. They also contain active compounds called phyto-chemicals which act as antioxidants and help protect us from environmental carcinogens which can lead to health conditions such as, cardiovascular disease, cancer and loss of cognitive function.  Each compound is associated with the color of the fruit or vegetable.

Fruits and Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which lower cholesterol and promote gastrointestinal health.

The table breaks down each type of chemical and gives examples of the fruit or vegetable it can be found in. These compounds cannot be synthesized and added to vitamin and mineral supplements which means we must get them from the food we consume.

The fiber found in fruits and vegetables is also food for beneficial microorganisms in our intestines. The more produce that is consumed, the more beneficial bacteria will reproduce and leave less room for unhealthy bacteria to grow. These microorganisms produce compounds that may improve immune function, cognitive ability and protect against chronic conditions such as weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The USDA recommends a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. A serving of fruit is one half cup for most fruits except berries and melon which are lower in sugar, so the serving is one cup. A serving of vegetables is one cup raw, one half cup cooked or two cups for salad greens. Produce can be a great way to reduce overall calories since a serving of fruit only has about 60 calories
and a serving of vegetables has only about 25 calories. The fiber in the produce will also help keep you fuller longer to help prevent snacking that can lead to increased calories.

Are all fruits and vegetables good for you? Yes, even the ones considered starchy have vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. The starchy vegetables are white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash (butternut, acorn and pumpkin). These vegetables have a higher starch content which may impact blood sugar and should be considered as part of the starch component of meals and snacks.

If you want to lose weight and increase health, focusing on fruits and vegetables is the best first step. Eating the rainbow to be sure to consume a wide variety of phytochemicals will help protect your body from chronic disease and help you live a more fulfilling life. “Strive for Five” every day and watch your waistline shrink and your energy level soar!

  • By Jennifer Smith, MS, RDN

References:  

  1. Wiseman, H. (2013). Phytochemicals: Health Effects,. In B. Caballero, Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition (Third
    Edition (pp. 47-51). Academic Press.
  2. KarlaOteroMS, R. L. (2021). Breast Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Rehabilitation. Elsevier.
  3. Jandhyala SM, Talukdar R, Subramanyam C, Vuyyuru H, Sasikala M, Nageshwar Reddy D. Role of the normal gut
    microbiota. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(29):8787-8803. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i29.8787
  4. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-
    2025.pdf
Researched Article

It’s no Secret! Fruits and Vegetables are Essential for your Health​

Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which lower cholesterol and promote gastrointestinal health. They also contain active compounds called phytochemicals which act as antioxidants and help protect us from environmental carcinogens which can lead to health conditions such as, cardiovascular disease, cancer and loss of cognitive function.i Each compound is associated with the color of the fruit or vegetable

READ MORE >>
Researched Article

What does it take to incorporate a new healthy habit?

What does it take to incorporate a new healthy habit? What does it take to incorporate a new healthy habit?​ Generally speaking, change goes through many stages from pre-contemplation to continued commitment. Everyone has different motivations for change. Making a small change, rather than a drastic one can be easier

READ MORE >>
Researched Article

Top 10 Health Benefits to Eat a Plant-Based diet

Top 10 Health Benefits – of a Whole food Plant-Based diet Top 10 Health Benefits – Of a Plant-Based Diet You may be wondering what are the Reasons one should adopt a  whole food  Plant-Based diet. Are there health benefits? Are there medical benefits? Can you lose weight? Our patients

READ MORE >>
Scroll to Top