If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to make your meals healthier, one way to do that is by adding fruit and vegetables. Dr. Ann Kulze says fruits and vegetables are necessary to help maintain a healthy body. “Fruits and vegetables are the universal ‘life-preserver’ foods. I consider them the magic bullet foods when it comes to lifelong success with body weight. The bottom line is: the more the better. Any improvement you can make by including more fruits and vegetables in your day is well worth it,” said Kulze. One tip: Be careful when it comes to canned or frozen fruits and vegetables. Prepackaged meals often contain added salt and sugar. Here are some of the surprising health benefits of fruits and vegetables.
1. Cardiovascular health
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can lower your risk for heart disease. Potassium, which can be found in bananas, may help the body maintain a healthy blood pressure. In addition, the dietary fiber found in vegetables can assist with lowering blood cholesterol levels as well as the risk of heart disease. The higher your average daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, the lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. When compared with those who ate less than 1.5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, those who ate an average of eight or more servings a day were 30% less likely to be heart attack or stroke victims. Vegetables such as broccoli, mustard greens, and cabbage, and fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are the vegetables and fruits most likely to help boost cardiovascular health.
2. Lower cancer risk
Studies have shown fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of some cancers. Vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, and cabbage, and most fruit may add an additional layer of cancer-fighting protection. Research conducted by the Health Professionals Follow-up study infers that the lycopene found in tomatoes could help protect men against developing prostate cancer.
3. Improved vision
Do you want to keep your peepers healthy? You may be able to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration when you pile on the fruits and veggies. A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that lutein and zeaxanthin could be responsible for the positive effects on eye health.
4. Reduced diabetes risk
If you love green, leafy vegetables, you’re in luck. Research shows that eating a lot of green leafy vegetables and fruit has been correlated with a reduced diabetes risk. It’s worth a shot to adjust your diet accordingly, considering more than 29 million people in the United States are battling the disease. Furthermore, adding berries to your diet could also lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
5. Better digestive health
The fiber content of fruits and vegetables helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. A diet rich in fiber (but don’t forget to drink plenty of water) is a great way to stave off constipation and keep you healthy and comfortable.
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