Everyone remembers rolling their eyes when told as a child to eat your fruits and veggies (well at least the veggie part)! They certainly didn’t offer the same yummy taste as the dessert that came last! But why did our parents force us to eat Brussel sprouts and broccoli? To torture us are there actually good reasons to eat fruits and vegetables?
Well, they may know something after all considering fruit and vegetable intake is an essential part of keeping us alive! “The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 1.7 million, or 2.8%, of deaths worldwide can be attributed to consuming too few fruits and vegetables!…WHO further estimates that insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables causes approximately 14% of deaths due to gastrointestinal cancer, 11% of ischemic heart disease deaths, and 9% of stroke deaths.” –
Besides what you just learned, below are 5 benefits of fruits and vegetables and reasons to eat them:
- Reduce your risk of MANY health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some cancers. Fruits and veggies provide many nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and vitamins we all need in order to function properly! Therefore, when our bodies are deprived of these good essentials, we can start to experience adverse side effects that can lead to one of the issues listed above! Not ideal!
- Maintain your weight. Stop looking for the “next best thing” to help you lose or maintain your weight and start looking in your pantry and fridge! Other benefits of fruits and vegetables are that they have more fiber naturally, they are going to make and keep you full, which in turn can help you to eat less of the “bad” stuff such as simple, processed products high in trans fat and sugar!
- Quick and Easy. Fruits and veggies are easy to find and prepare! They are in ALL grocery stores in ALL forms, such as fresh, frozen or canned. Unless you are eating them raw there are many healthy ways to prepare these nutrient-packed foods that take no longer than 20min!
- Biggest Bang for your Buck. If you’re going to spend a few $ at the grocery store, spend them on items that are packed with good nutrients, hence “biggest bang for your buck!” To help save at the grocery, make a list and buy in season! Also stock up on non-perishable options like canned and frozen sources (no sugar added of course)!
- They’re good! That’s right, fruits and vegetables actually taste good! If you don’t like a lot of variety, then maybe you just haven’t cooked them in a way you prefer! Such as, instead of just steaming your vegetables try roasting them in the oven with some spices and herbs! Trust me, roasted cauliflower with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder is so much more flavorful than steamed cauliflower!
So how many servings a day?! Aim for 3-5 but the MORE the BETTER!!!