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Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits every day is vital for good health and to protect us from developing diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
This is because food is medicine! Vegetables and fruits are important sources of various vitamins, mineral, antioxidants, phytochemicals and probably many unknown or poorly studied compounds that have protective properties and health promoting effects. Many of these nutrients are under consumed, and include potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Vegetables and fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. None have cholesterol.
Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss. Examples of foods high in potassium are sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato, beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans, bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice. Fiber from vegetables and fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is important for proper bowel function; it helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. It also helps provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Folate is very important for women of childbearing age who may become pregnant. In addition to a supplement, they should consume adequate folate from foods to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development. Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also aids in iron absorption. And the list of health benefits goes on!
Make fruits and vegetables part of your daily recipe to stay healthy while you enjoy the pleasure of eating flavorful food.
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