For better health all around…fruits and vegetables deliver the goods!
There’s a treasure trove of nutritional benefits in fruits and vegetables that’s just about the best health insurance you can get. Research is unanimous: for health and overall wellness, these delicious vegetables deliver bushels of benefits… including lower risks of contracting many chronic illnesses.
Fruits and vegetables – natural, versatile, easy to eat – are key food items in any healthy diet. Raw or cooked, fresh or frozen, served in salads or soups – any way you like is the right way to eat your 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Those servings deliver Vitamins A, B6, C, K, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, fibre, water, antioxidants…and more besides! So you can see why, from a scientific standpoint, there’s plenty of evidence that eating fruits and vegetables can:
- Promote bowel regularity
- Protect against cardiovascular disease
- Help control blood glucose levels
- Reduce the risk of certain types of cancer
- Promote and help maintain healthy body weight
- Help strengthen bones
- …and add years to our lives!
Fibres for healthier digestion, heart and blood sugar
Fruits and vegetables are among the best possible sources of dietary fibre. They
contain important insoluble fibres, which swell with water like a sponge in the intestine
to promote healthy, regular bowel activity. Their soluble fibres, on the other hand, form
a sort of gel in the digestive tract to eliminate cholesterol, with resulting benefits for the
cardiovascular system. Soluble fibres (from sources such as apples, strawberries and
Brussels sprouts) also act as a filter in the intestine, slowing the absorption of sugars.
Which is why control over blood glucose levels depends on eating an adequate amount
of fibre daily.
Colours that fight cancer
Numerous studies show that those eating habits which have a protective effect against
cancer consist primarily of foods of vegetable origin. According to the Fonds Mondial de
Recherche Contre le Cancer (FMRC), it is probable that non-starchy vegetables (like
green vegetables, broccoli and eggplant for example) and fruits have a protective effect
against certain cancers. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, studies show that
a diet rich in fruit can reduce the risk of contracting certain cancers, including cancer of
the stomach, mouth (oral cavity), pharynx, larynx, esophagus and lungs. The therapeutic
value of fruits and vegetables is related, among other things, to their bright colours.
Colourful eating is healthy eating!
Balance your body weight…with fruits and vegetables
A healthy diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables can help you attain and maintain
a healthy body weight. Because they’re rich in fibre but low in calories, fruits and
vegetables produce a sense of fullness, which helps to control appetite and weight
caused by overeating. Various studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight
reduces the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and a certain
number of cancers. So there are plenty of excellent reasons to feature fruits and
vegetables at every meal.
Healthy helpers for better bones
Dairy products and their substitutes aren’t the only foods that matter when it comes
to keeping bone tissues healthy. Vegetables contain bicarbonates and other buffering
substances which neutralize excess acidity in the body, which can cause loss of
minerals in bone tissue and lead to osteoporosis. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in
potassium, an element which helps maintain bone mass by preventing loss of calcium
into the urine.
Colourful fruits and veggies are great for golden agers too!
Many studies associate longer lifespans with plenty of fruits and vegetables in our daily
diet. In fact, there seems to be a link between high fruit and vegetable intake and lower
mortality. To maximize our chances of adding more years to our lives – and more life to
our later years! – let’s make sure to eat those 5 to 10 fruit and vegetable servings a day,
get plenty of exercise and think positive!