Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and the variety of each is as important as the quantity. Eatingfruits and vegetables above other foods is always advisable and desirable as it contains various health benefits.
No single fruit or vegetable offers you all the required nutrients, so you should eat fruits and vegetables, plenty of them every day to make your diet a balanced one. They have high nutritional value as they provide some fantastic anti-oxidants, nutrients, fibre, vitamins, and so on.
They are also a good source of water-soluble vitamins that our body requires every day. The water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored for future use by our body like the fat-soluble ones but are required every day for optimal functioning of the body, so one should take heavy vegetable intake daily.
Even our body has no tendency to produce such vitamins inside the body so the only option left is to have a rich diet of fruits and vegetables.
A diet rich in such fresh fruits and vegetables helps lower blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart diseases and stroke, prevents some type of cancer, improves eye sight and digestive system, checks blood sugar level, helps control fat and checks your appetite.
Even among the group of these foods, i.e., fruits and vegetables, vegetables are considered to be healthier than fresh fruit though this does not mean that one should substitute vegetables over fruits but rather have an increased vegetable consumption.
A diet high in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, lessen the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent certain types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive issues, and have a good influence on blood sugar, which can help control appetite.
Non-starchy veggies and fruits, such as apples, pears, and leafy greens, may even help you lose weight. Their low glycemic indexes avoid blood sugar spikes, which can cause hunger.
There are at least nine major fruit and vegetable families, each with hundreds of different plant chemicals that are helpful to health. Consume a range of produce types and colors to provide your body with the nutrients it need.
Fruits and veggies help you stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables are component of a well-balanced diet that really can help you lose weight or avoid weight gain since they are low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
Furthermore, they can aid in the reduction of inflammation, as well as the reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure. Sodium and cholesterol levels are low. Fresh fruits and vegetables have trace quantities of salt. Many people believe that celery is heavy in salt, however one stalk has only 30mg.
Leafy green vegetables, green peas, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and yellow maize are excellent suppliers. Glucosinolates are a type of glucosinolate. When these phytochemicals are ingested, they are broken down into isothiocyanates, which have been found to have anti-cancer properties.
This not only assures a broader variety of useful plant compounds, but also results in more visually beautiful meals.
1.1. Cardiovascular Illness
A diet high in fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A meta-analysis of cohort studies involving 469,551 people discovered that eating more fruits and vegetables is related with a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, with just an average reduced risk of 4% for each extra serving per day.
The largest and most comprehensive study to date, conducted as part of the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, involved nearly 110,000 men and women whose health and eating habits were tracked for 14 years.
The more fruits and vegetables you eat on a daily basis, the less likely you are to acquire cardiovascular disease. Those who consumed 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day were 30% less likely to be have a heart attack or stroke than those who had less than 1.5 servings per day.
Although all fruits and vegetables are likely to have contributed to this advantage, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, & mustard greens were shown to be the most strongly connected with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and fruit juice), contributed significantly.
When researchers integrated the Harvard findings with those from many other long-term studies in the United States and Europe, but looked at heart disease and strokes individually, they discovered a similar protective effect: Individuals who consumed more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day had an about 20% lower risk of heart attack and stroke than those who consumed less than 3 servings per day.
1.2. High Blood Pressure
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study looked at the effect on BP of a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while limiting saturated and total fat.
The researchers discovered that people with hypertension who followed this diet reduced one‘s systolic blood pressure (the upper number of the blood pressure reading) by approximately 11 mm Hg as well as their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by nearly 6 mm Hg—equivalent to what medications can achieve.
A randomized trial called as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health (OmniHeart) found that replacing some of the carbohydrate with healthy unsaturated fat or protein reduced blood pressure even more.
The meta-analysis of clinical trials & observational research published in 2014 discovered that eating a vegetarian diet was related with reduced BP.
Numerous early studies appeared to show a strong correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer prevention.
Cohort studies, that follow large groups of initially healthy people for years, provide more trustworthy information than case-control studies since they do not rely on information from the past. Furthermore, results from cohort studies haven’t yet consistently demonstrated that a diet high in fruits and vegetables protects cancer.
For example, in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, men and women who consumed the most fruits and vegetables (8+ servings per day) were equally as likely to get cancer as those who had the fewest daily servings (under 1.5)
Vegetables are considered to be healthier than fruits as they generally contain higher concentrations of micro-nutrients that are essential for good health and better functioning of the organs, such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients etc. These micro-nutrients support better functioning of eyes, bone health, teeth, muscle, skin, nails, blood cells, nervous system and immune system.
2. Suggestions for Eating More Vegetables and Fruits Every Day
2.1. Keep Fruit in Plain Sight
To satisfy a sweet desire, place several washed whole fruits in a bowl or store chopped colored fruits in a glass bowl in the refrigerator.
2.2. Explore the Produce Section and Try Something New
A healthy diet must be varied and colorful. Try to eat plenty or at least one serving of each of the following groups on most days: dark green leafy vegetables; yellow or orange fruits and vegetables; red fruits and vegetables; legumes (beans and peas); and citrus fruits.
2.3. Leave out The Potatoes
Choose vegetables with a variety of minerals and carbs that are more slowly digested.
2.4. Make It Into a Dinner
Experiment with new dishes that include additional vegetables. Salads, soups, & stir-fries are just a few ways to include more nutritious veggies in your diet.
With increased consumption of vegetables, you will not only allow the intake of more micro-nutrients but also reduce the consumption of high-caloric foods. This will help you reduce your fats as this enables your body to use the stored fats without compromising the functioning of the other organs.
On the other hand, fruits contain more macro-nutrients which are energy-giving caloric components of our foods and include carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
So, to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, include more and more vegetables in your diet pattern.