Most of us grew up hearing from parents and doctors alike that we should eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, but many of us probably wondered why. As it happens, the human body thrives in many different ways when we choose to incorporate many fruits and vegetables into our diet. Here are ten of the most significant benefits you are missing by not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
1) A reduced risk of strokes and heart disease:
The harder your arteries, the more likely you are to have a stroke or develop heart disease (and it is worth noting that both of these conditions are extremely common causes of death in the western world). Fruits and vegetables slow the rate at which your arteries harden, thereby reducing your risk of both of these medical problems.
2) Fewer dental problems:
The vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables helps to keep your gums healthy by reducing mouth inflammation that can lead to Gingivitis (also known as gum disease). To reduce the chances of an emergency trip to the dentist’s office, make sure you eat plenty of green peppers, broccoli, kiwis, oranges and grapefruits.
3) A lower risk of birth defects:
Folic acid from broccoli, peas and all different sorts of berries can help you have a healthy pregnancy by reducing the chances that your child will suffer from birth defects. Folate from these fruits and vegetables is also good for your blood, as folate is essential for the production of the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your body and supply it to all of your internal organs.
4) A lower risk of prostate cancer:
There is a connection between regular tomato consumption and a reduced chance of prostate cancer in men. This relationship warrants more research in order to discover the exact nature of the connection. In the meantime, however, it will not hurt to snack on tomatoes and include them in plenty of salads.
5) A stronger immune system:
When you become ill, you will be able to fight off infection more quickly if you consume a lot of vitamin A (found in fruits like watermelon and tomatoes). Further, all fruits and vegetables provide you with vitamins and minerals, thereby giving your body higher levels of energy. If your energy level is higher, you will recover from bacterial and viral infections more quickly.
6) A healthier digestive system:
If your digestive system is to be healthy, your diet must contain plenty of fiber. Fruits and vegetables all contain varying amounts of fiber, and so eating them is a great way to keep your digestive system is good shape. An unhealthy digestive system, on the other hand, is associated with an increased risk of constipation (which can lead to pain and hemorrhoids).
7) A slimmer figure:
If you are trying to diet, fruits and vegetables are among the best possible snacks to help keep you away from foods that are higher in fat and calories. They also help you to feel fuller for longer, minimizing the chances that you will break your diet to have a bag of chips or a chocolate bar.
8) Younger looking skin:
The vitamin C in fruits and vegetables is not just good for your dental health. If you want to have younger looking skin, vitamin C (found in grapefruits, kiwis, green peppers and oranges) is one of the keys. It is associated with better skin hydration and more slowly developing wrinkles.
9) Lower blood pressure:
Scientific research currently suggests that there is a link between healthy blood pressure and a high level of fruit and vegetable consumption. As with the connection between prostate cancer and fruits and vegetables, more studies must be done to ascertain the precise nature of the relationship. However, it is nonetheless worth noting that you could end up with a healthier heart if you decide to eat more fruits and vegetables.
10) Healthier eyes:
Vitamin A is particularly good for the health of your eyes and can be found in its greatest concentration in fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and spinach. As it happens, almost all fruits and vegetables contain at least a little vitamin A, so your eyes will benefit from almost all fruits and vegetables that you choose to incorporate into your diet.
Ideally, we should all eat ten portions of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, but as little as six portions will have at least some positive impact on your health. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should eat nothing but fruits and vegetables! A varied diet is essential for good health, so make sure you also eat plenty of other healthy foods (such as whole grains and protein).