Why Eat Fruits & Vegetables? Tina Miller, R.D. & Meijer Healthy Living Advisor
Fruit and vegetable intake had only a modest impact on reducing overall cancer risk according to a recent study. However, multiple research studies support intake of fruit and vegetables (5 or more per day) to prevent disease. Before ditching your apple for Twinkies, consider these facts:
- Greater beneficial effects are seen when specific foods and specific cancers are studied. For example, tomato products rich in lycopene help to reduce prostate cancer risk.
- Individuals who eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day have a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, compared with individuals who eat less than 3 servings per day.
- Eating 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruit per day helps reduce, and maintain, a healthy blood pressure.
- The fiber in fruit and vegetables aids elimination, reducing constipation and risk for diverticulosis.
- Fruit and vegetable intake protects vision health. Those who ate more fruit and vegetable servings are less likely to have cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (the most common cause of blindness in seniors).
- Those who eat “plenty” (more than 5 servings per day) of fruit and vegetables have lower rates of obesity.
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, etc) help to detoxify harmful substances from the environment and harmful by-products made by the body.
- Onion, garlic, leeks, chives and many other vegetables support immune health and protect against bacterial infection.
- Soluble fiber in beans, apples, pears and other fruit and vegetables helps to lower bad cholesterol levels.
10. Soluble fiber from fruit and vegetables also helps maintain healthy blood sugars for those with diabetes.
Explore Meijer Mealbox for delicious fruit and vegetable-rich recipes! Visit www.meijermealbox.com.