Fruits and vegetables provide several health benefits and are important for the prevention of illness. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients including Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants. Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
NUTRIENTS IN VEGETABLES
Vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium.
Folate helps the body form red blood cells. It is especially important for woman of childbearing age to consume folate rich foods such as bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach to prevent neural-tube defects in babies.
Vitamin A-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots and butter nut and squash help keep skin and eyes healthy and protect against infections. The USDA recommends eating 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
NUTRIENTS IN FRUITS
The USDA also recommends consuming 2 cups of fruits per day. The healthiest choices are fresh fruits or frozen without added sweeteners. Fruits is naturally low in fat, Sodium and calones and rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate.
Some high-potassium fruits include peaches, cantaloupes, honey dew, oranges and bananas. Fiber in fruits helps to protect against heart diseases and low cholesterol.
Vitamin C in foods like citrus and strawberries helps with wound healing and keeps gums and teeth healthy.
PREVENTION OF DISEASES
Eating produce can put you at risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and type two(2) diabetes and protect against various forms of cancer. The USDA states that fruits and vegetables high in fiber can reduce chances of developing coronary heart disease.
Eating Potassium-rich foods such as bananas and potatoes can help reduce blood pressure, decrease bone loss and prevent development of kidney stores.
A long with health benefits, eating fruits and vegetable can make weight management easier. Most produce is low in calories compared to other foods, so filling up on these foods can aid in weight loss or maintenance.
Fruits and Vegetables work as excellent substitutes in different recipes, for instance using fresh apple sauce instead of oil in muffins or cookies.
Cecilia Kelly Mensah/Ghanahospitals.org