Top 3 Reasons to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables (And Healthiest Recommendations)
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. However, research from the CDC shows that a whopping majority of 90% of American adults do not meet the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day guideline.
But, Why Eat So Many Fruits and Vegetables?
If you’re not a fan of fruits and veggies, which the majority of us are clearly not, meeting the 5 a day guideline feels like a chore. But, researchers have provided us plenty of strong reasons to do it, no matter how hard it may seem. For all those who may need a refresher, here we highlight some of the reasons why there has always been a huge emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables by doctors and our moms alike. Some of the major health benefits of eating enough fruits and vegetables every day include:
Reduced Risk of Several Diseases
Fruits and vegetables are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They are also great sources of fiber. The right choices of fruits and vegetables can help reduce hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. The fiber content also keeps your gut healthy and your digestive system well-functioning.
Various fruits and vegetables have also been found to help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation.
Easier Weight Management
Filling your plate with enough fruits and veggies for every meal also helps keep your weight in check, which a vast majority of us struggle with. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories (with a few exceptions) but packed with lots of healthy nutrients, offering you the best of both worlds.
Eating more fruits and vegetables will fill up your stomach and keep you full for longer while also keeping your calorie consumption within a healthy range.
Improved Mental Health
While many of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables have been long known, researchers have recently found a connection between fruits and vegetables consumption and mental health. A large meta-analysis conducted to investigate it further found that people who ate more fruits and veggies had better mental health, mood, and reduced risk of depression than those who did not.
Although researchers are still investigating how and why fruits and vegetables have a protective effect on mental health, many believe that the answer lies in them being packed with several vital nutrients.
What Fruits and Vegetables Should You Eat?
Now that you’ve recalled why eating fruits and veggies has been so highly emphasized, you should also know what fresh plant-based produces you should fill your plate with. No, not all of them are equal from the health perspective.
When eating to improve health and gain the numerous benefits, choose from the following healthiest fruits and vegetables:
- Cruciferous vegetables, especially leafy greens
- Sweet potato
- Avocado; heart healthy, but high in calories, so use in moderation
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet red pepper
The Sum Up
Fruits and vegetables are one of nature’s best gifts to mankind. Packed with nutrients and flavor, they are truly superfoods. It’s high time we start listening to our moms and eat our fruits and veggies to stay healthy and active.