Benefits of a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
We know we need to eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. Actually now, to prevent cancer, 8 to 13 servings per day are recommended. A serving is one cup of raw fruits or vegetables, or ½ cup cooked. At a recent lecture I asked a lunch audience to raise their hand if they had at least one fruit or vegetable already that day. No one in that group raised their hand. This is not uncommon. Our processed and convenience foods contain very few fruits and vegetables.
To prevent chronic diseases, fruits and especially vegetables are very important. Vegetables especially have the antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals in the correct combination that help keep the blood sugar in balance, create better energy in the body, and along with fruits build up the immune system.
Each color found in fruits and vegetables focus on building the immune system in its own way. It is important to get a variety of colors, so that you will get a full range of phytochemicals (beneficial plant chemicals) in your daily diet. Research is finding that eating whole fruits and vegetables gives you many more nutrients than you could possible add to a vitamin and mineral supplement. There are over 12,000 phytochemicals, and I have yet to see a supplement, unless it has whole fruits and vegetables in it, have all of the 180 different vitamins or minerals that are required by our body to function daily.
The different colors in fruits and vegetables help our immune system react to different stresses in our daily life. So look at the different colors in your diet. See if they include each of the colors listed below. This is one way to know that you are getting the full benefit of nutrients possible in your diet.
Green Foods - broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Green foods are especially good for the circulatory system. They contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds. Researchers have tried to use these as isolated phytochemicals but find that they only work while in the whole food form.
Red Foods - tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage.
Red foods contain many phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical called lycopene is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin. Lycopene is the phytochemical that make the red foods get their red color.
Orange Foods - carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe.
The orange foods have the carotenoids the help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA. As our mothers told us, carrots, and other orange foods, are especially good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.
Green/Yellow Foods - yellow corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado and honeydew melon.
This combination of green and yellow foods contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. These foods are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Orange /Yellow Foods - oranges, pineapple, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines
These foods that are orange and yellow in color are high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflammation.
White/Green Foods - onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives
White and green combination foods contain a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal phytochemical, and they can act as a poor man's antibiotic. Add garlic and onions in your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high fat meats. Celery has many minerals, especially organic sodium, that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.
Red/Blue/Purple Foods - red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, concord grapes, blackberries.
These dark colored red/blue/purple foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect again heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They have many anti-aging phytochemicals that keep the blood circulating reducing the effects of the Standard American Diet rich in trans fats and processed foods.
When you make a salad make sure you have a variety of different colors. Strive to get at least 5 colors on your plate. Use fruits to balance the rest of the colors needed. This way you will get closer to the 8 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables required, and you will get the variety of nutrients you need daily.
Jane Oelke, N.D., Ph.D. is a Traditional Naturopath and Doctor of Homeopathy in southwest Michigan. She is the author of "Natural Choices for Fibromyalgia" and "Natural Choices for Attention Deficit Disorder." She is a professional speaker on natural health topics. She can be contacted at DoctorOelke@aol.com or through her website at http://www.NaturalChoicesForYou.com
Five Reasons You Should Drink More Water
I know you've heard this many times - "Drink more water!". Yet, 99% of the people don't heed this advice.
Nutrition Secrets Never Before Revealed
The topic of nutrition is one that is always present in our lives no matter where we turn. It's on the news, magazine articles, at school, at your doctor's office, and even is a major topic for many books.
Whey Protein Importance
Studies on whey demonstrate it's an even better protein supplement than previously thought. Although whey protein's health benefits have only recently been elucidated, the use of whey protein for medicinal purposes has been prescribed since the time of Hippocrates.
The Ins and Outs of Proper Nutrition
Secretly we all want just a few things in life, none the least of which is to live a life that is healthy and energetic. One way to accomplish this is to eat a well balanced diet that fuels the body to take on life's challenges.
Use Food and Focus to Gain Tons of Energy for Summer
While there are many effective ways to get more energy and build your productivity, I've found it very important to pay attention to the seasons."But wait a minute," you say.
Your bodys pH
So what's all the shake up about anyway?. To put it to you straight your body's ''pH'' is everything "Life Itself".
Fluoride Debate Continues
The debate regarding Fluoride continues to rage, is it good for your teeth or, the teeth of our children. There does not appear to be a survey available, without bias, that goes one way or the other.
Best Skin Diet For Healthy Skin
"You are what you eat."Does it sound familiar? You probably have heard of it.
Oat Bran Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol
The natural antioxidants in Oat Bran can significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels by suppressing the adhesive molecules which make blood cells stick to artery walls, researchers reported.When blood cells stick to artery walls and cause inflammation, plaque deposits build up and narrow the passageways through which blood flows.
Whatever Happened to the Basic Four Food Groups?
What Ever Happened to the Basic FourThe USDA was originally given the conflicting task of educating the public on agricultural matters while simultaneously working with food producers to provide a reliable and consistent food supply. This has, over the course of time, led to our ever evolving dietary guidelines, and yet is the purpose of these guidelines for our health or to sell more food?Would You Believe There Were Once 12 Food Groups?The food guides during the 1930's were heavily influenced by The Great Depression and at that time included 12 separate groups!In 1956 the USDA produced the "Basic Four" food guide.
Introduction To Cocaine Addiction
Coke, more commonly known as cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant which instantly affects the brain after introducing it to the body. The effects of this drug are extremely pleasurable and give a false sense of euphria.
Healing Power of 8 Sugars: An Amazing Breakthrough in Nutrition
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
Nuts of all kinds (I am talking peanuts, cashews etc) have a mixed reputation. They are high in fat, but have no carbohydrates.
Summer Sun Cures
With summer comes more sun and with more sun comes an extra desire to be outdoors and with spending additional time outdoors comes ? you guessed it, sunburn.We all know the major importance of using sunscreen these days.
How to Stop Bad Breath In 4 Refreshing Steps
OK, no more excuses. Here's how to stop making everyone laugh behind your back after getting a whiff of your noxious breath.
From Cell to Super Cell - with Glutathione
Imagine you're a cell.Inside your body runs the machinery that creates life itself.
The New Food Pyramid: Another Attempt At Providing Easy Answers
The Food Pyramid, first introduced to the US in 1992, just experienced a major overhaul. Why? Perhaps proper education about nutrition isn't as easy as picking out food from a colorful chart.
Whats Missing Could Be Making You Sick
Here's something you probably don't know. The fruit and vegetables you eat today are not as nutritious as the food from fifty years ago.
The Best Way to Consume Vitamin C
Eating orange mean absorbing vitamin C to our body, is that right? Probably yes because orange is rich with this nutrient. Vitamin C is a very essential nutrient for human body because its play a great role as a powerful antioxidant.
How to Use Flax Seed
You can eat whole flax seeds but you need to chew them good to break them up. Your stomach will not dissolve whole flax seeds and many of them will come out in your stools.
|home | site map|