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What are the Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables?

What are the Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables?

Eat more fruit and vegetables! We’re always being told to do this – but why? Eating vegetables and fruit is said to help you enjoy a healthy diet, and for good reason. You are more likely to avoid heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, digestive problems, and visions loss when you eat vegetables and fruit on a regular basis. A diet rich in fruit can vegetables can also help you lower your blood pressure. Here’s the detail on why fruit and vegetables are good for your health and wellbeing.

Fruits and Vegetables: Cardiovascular Disease

A diet high in nutritious fruits and vegetables helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies show that the higher the intake of vegetables and fruit, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables also helps you to control your blood pressure, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study showed people who eat eight or more servings a day have a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Fruits and vegetables that are particularly heart-healthy include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and citrus fruits.

Fruits and Vegetables: Cancer

Some types of fruit and vegetables may help protect against certain types of cancer – for example, non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and bok choy may reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and stomach. Fruit is also said to protect against lung cancer.

Fruits and Vegetables: Digestive System

Whole fruit contains fiber – fiber is an important nutrient for digestive health. Fiber triggers regular bowel movements, helps prevent constipation, decreases pressure inside the digestive tract and prevents diverticulosis.

Fruits and Vegetables: Vision

Lots of vegetables and fruit keep your vision sharp. Vitamin A helps night vision. Other fruits and vegetables help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration which cause vision loss.

How Much Should I Eat?

The most recent dietary guidelines say Americans should eat between five and 13 servings of fruit and vegetables a day – that is 21/2 to 61/2 cups per day. Don’t count potatoes because they are considered a starch and not a vegetable. The key to optimum health is a variety of different types of vegetables so you get all the different nutrients these foods provide.


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