Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Benefits of Eating Fruits & Vegetables


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The Benefits of Eating Fruits & Vegetables
By: Heather Hallberg | Intern

 

There are many benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. In this blog you will see the benefits of eating by color, what nutrients each fruit and vegetable contain, in season fruits and vegetables for winter, and how to pick out the freshest fruits and vegetables available.  MyPlate is available to help recognize the five different food groups and how much of each food group an individual should eat. My plate recommends filling half or more of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables, whether cooked, fresh, frozen, canned, or as 100% fruit or vegetable juices all count as a serving. Females ages 19-30 should consume approximately 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day. Males between the ages of 19-30 should consume approximately 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables each day. The daily amounts will differ depending on your calorie needs. Consider eating a variety of colors. Listed below are examples and benefits of each color. MyPlate recommends women ages 19-30 consume 1 ½ cups of dark green, 5 ½ cups red and orange, 1 ½ beans and peas, 5 cups starchy, and 4 cups of other vegetables per week. For men ages 19-30, MyPlate recommends 2 cups dark green, 6 cups red and orange, 2 cups beans and peas, 6 cups starchy vegetables, and 5 cups of other vegetables per week. Visit choosemyplate.gov for more healthy eating tips.

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Benefits of Eating by Color

Color
Foods
Benefits
Red
Tomatoes, watermelon, guava
Lycopene: antioxidants that remove potentially damaging cells from the body
Orange
Carrots, yams, mangos, pumpkins
Beta-carotene: builds/enhances immune system
Yellow-orange
Oranges, lemons, papayas, peaches
Vitamin C: detoxes harmful substances
Green
Spinach, kale, collards
Folate: builds healthy cells
Green-white
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage
Indoles, lutein: eliminate carcinogens
White-green
Garlic, onions, chives, asparagus
Allyl sulfides: destroy cancer cells
Blue
Blueberries, plums
Anthocyanins: destroy free radicals
Red-purple
Grapes, berries
Resveratrol: decrease estrogen
Brown
Whole Grains, legumes
Fiber: makes consistent with other cells

 

 

What’s in a Fruit and Vegetable

There are many nutrients available in fruits and vegetables. The chart below lists some fruits and vegetables, the unique nutrients in them, and the function of these nutrients.  

 

Fruit/Vegetable
What it contains
How it helps the body
Apple
Vitamin C, E, A, B1, B2, pectin, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, flavonoids, & boron
Increase bone density
Increase mental alertness
Lowers cholesterol
Aids in diabetes management
Increase teeth & gum health
Aids in digestion
Orange
Vitamin C, A, B-complex
Good source of beta carotene, calcium, folate, potassium, magnesium, amino acids & pectin
Immune booster
Maintains skin health and is essential for vision
Helps control heart rate and blood pressure
Pineapple
Vitamin A, C , B6
Aids digestion
Good for joints & muscles
Improves circulation
Good for memory and mood
Cranberries
Vitamins C, A, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium & manganese
Has diuretic and antiseptic properties
Aids digestion & removes fat from lymphatic system
Promotes cardiovascular health
Peach
Vitamins A, B’s, C, niacin, riboflavin, iron, carotenes, lutein, flavonoids, lycopene & boron
Prevents against heart disease
Promotes circulation
Regulates digestion and bowel movements
Cherries
Vitamins C, A, B; has double the iron, calcium, magnesium, & potassium than an orange
Good for vision & immune system growth
Enhances memory function
Lowers risk of heart disease
Anti-fungal properties
Papaya
Vitamins A, E, C, B-complex, carotenes, flavonoids, folate, potassium, magnesium & pantothenic acid
Protects DNA from free-radicals
Stimulates tissue recovery
Healthful for colon health
Anti-inflammatory
Boosts immune system
Good for lungs & regulates blood sugar
Spinach
More calcium than milk, vitamin K, E, A, C, iron, folate, lutein, potassium
Good for the heart & liver
Protects against cancer, age-related macular degeneration
Builds bone density
Carrots
Best beta carotene source, vitamins A, E, niacin, B12, potassium
Lowers cholesterol
Cleanses blood cell walls
Fights infection, cancer, and aging diseases: stroke & hearts attacks
Promotes eye-health
Cabbage
High levels of calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, vitamin A, B’s, C, E, K, & folic acid
Detoxifies the body
Relieves constipation
Good for stomach & digestive tract
Boosts immune system
Broccoli
High in calcium and vitamins C which aids in iron absorption, essential folic acid, potassium, & beta carotene
Anti-inflammatory properties
Good for nervous system repair and function
Balances blood sugar levels and pH levels
Prevents cataract development
Combats osteoporosis
Reduces cholesterol
Tomatoes
Contains lycopene, vitamin A, thiamine, C, E, K, calcium, iron, phosphorus & potassium
Protects against prostate cancer
Prevents blood clots
Regulates blood sugars
Parsley
Contains calcium, vitamins K, A, C, iron, folate, & beta-carotene
Anti-inflammatory properties
Boosts immune system
Lowers blood pressure
Kale
Contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese & phosphorus, vitamins B’s, A, K, E, beta-carotene, lutein, &  iron
Removes toxins, crucial for cell replication
Has anti-inflammatory agents

 

 

 

In-season Fruits and Vegetables for Winter

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It’s important to know which fruits and vegetables are in-season to get the freshest, most nutrient dense foods you can find.  In-season produce will also be cheaper, so eat up! However, there are a lot of fruits and vegetables that are available all year long! To get more information about what is currently in-season, visit fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org The following are some of the produce in season for winter: Brussels sprouts, Buttercup squash, Chestnuts, Clementine, Collard Greens, Dates, Grapefruit Kale, Kiwi, Leeks, Mandarin Oranges, Passion Fruit, Pear, Pomegranate, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, and Turnips.

 

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How to Pick Popular Produce for Maximum Nutrients

 

When visiting the grocery store, it is important to keep in mind that picking out the freshest produce will maximize health benefits by providing the most vitamins and minerals. However, some nutrients are lost during the long road from the farm to your plate. Trust your senses, smell and touch, when you are choosing fruits and vegetables and you will enjoy all the delicious health benefits fresh produce has to offer. Below are some helpful tips on how to pick out some of the most popular fruits and vegetables. Try a local farmer’s market during the summer and early fall months for “right off the vine” freshness. Also, look for locally grown produce in your grocery store as well.

 

Fruit
Signs they are fresh
Cantaloupe
Delicate Aroma; yellow-tinged skin; thick texture on the rind; no stem
Cherries
Average to large size; smooth, shiny surface; new looking stems
Grapes
Tender and plump; firmly attached to the stem; green grapes may have a slight amber blush
Peaches
Plump; firm, with a slight cushion; white or yellow color with a red blush
Oranges
Heavy; firm, smooth texture
Watermelon
Cream-colored underside; symmetrical shape
Asparagus
Straight, green stalks; closed tips
Bell Peppers
Thick; bright; glossy skin; firm
Broccoli
Firm; deep green color; closed florets
Carrots
Bright orange; smooth; firm
Green beans
Long pods; straight; firm; crisp
Onions
Dry; papery; smooth skim; small necks
Potatoes (white)
Firm; oval shape; smooth
Tomatoes
Plump; rich overall red color; slight cushion; smooth

 

2 comments:

  1. Great post!!! For healthy life. I am very interested in your blog. After reading your blog, I am planning to start taking organic fruits and vegetables on my day to day life. Thanks for sharing healthy information. Keep blogging.

    Sathish from Organic Fruits Online

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing article. I am so impressed. I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.
    Thanks for your publication; wild style. Many thanks sharing your article.

    Best essay

    ReplyDelete