Motivations To Eat More Fruits and Vegetables to your Diet
It is often recommended that we eat more fruits and vegetables, but sincerely its not easy to do! Whilst growing up, we were told, ‘eran la mo to njewe’, literally meaning, veggies are for livestock; thank God, we grew up knowing that is far from the truth. Fruits and veggies are actually meant for man to get a good life; we only need some motivation to add them to our shopping list. If you are one of those, then let this serve as motivation for eating more fruits and vegetables, not only are they beneficial but inexpensive and easy to prepare. Fruits and vegetables taste delicious! Often, just finding the right recipe or method of preparation is all it takes to enjoy eating a new type of produce.
By Eniola Samuel
Fight Deadly Diseases with Phytochemicals
The primary reason to eat more fruits and vegetables is disease prevention. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, dementia, osteoporosis, glaucoma and weight gain. Another purpose is to obtain the optimum benefits from phytochemicals, which are chemicals in every plant that provide color, aroma and taste. When they enter the human body, they stimulate the immune system, block carcinogens, repair DNA and help regulate hormones. Since each plant’s phytochemical profile is unique, eating different types of fruits and vegetables will provide the maximum health benefits and disease prevention. Furthermore, most fruits and vegetables contain fiber and electrolytes which help maintain digestive health, lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Follow the Rainbow to Better Health
Here’s an easy way to increase the consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables: think of the rainbow. Red plants such as apples, cabbage, grapes, red peppers and beets contain lycopene which has been shown to prevent cancer. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in carotenoids, helping to maintain eye health and regulate the immune system while preventing cancer and heart disease. This food group includes cantaloupe, carrots, squash, pineapple, sweet potatoes and corn. Lutein and indoles are chemicals found in green produce like spinach, broccoli, peas, honeydew melon and kiwi. They also prevent cancer as well as birth defects, cataracts and macular degeneration. By eating more blue and purple plants, the body will reap the benefits of anthocyanins, which protect cells from damage. Foods in this group include raisins, eggplant, figs, and prunes. Blueberries are an especially powerful fruit because they are shown to improve memory and promote healthy aging. Finally, white fruits and vegetables contain allicin, a chemical that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure while also reducing heart disease and stomach cancer risks by eating potatoes, bananas, ginger, jicama and parsnips
Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to be Expensive
Clearly, eating fruits and vegetables is vital for health and wellness, yet many people believe that they are too expensive. Although it’s possible to get “sticker shock” while browsing the produce section of your neighborhood grocery store, one has to be willing to look around a bit. First, search for produce that is in season as it will be readily available, very fresh and inexpensive.
Try New Recipes or Preparation Methods
Often, trial and error is needed to find the best to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Apples baked with cinnamon, walnuts and a little brown sugar taste very different from raw apples. If boiled Brussels sprouts are unappealing, try sautéing them in a little butter with fresh squeezed orange juice and toasted pecans. Roasting, grilling, steaming or stir frying vegetables brings out different flavors, while fruits can be chopped and mixed for salsas, used as salad add-ons or pureed for sauces. A variety of wonderful recipes can be found online.
Improve Your Health Today
In summary, fruits and vegetables are nature’s medicine, preventing most deadly and debilitating diseases as well as promoting a healthy weight, increasing longevity and providing energy. They are readily available, low in calories, inexpensive and delicious. Eating a variety is especially important to reap the benefits of different plant phytochemicals, and one of the best ways to promote variety is to eat produce of varying colors. Finally, ideas for various creative ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables throughout the day were provided. Start improving your health today, and make a resolution to try some new recipes or varieties of produce.