10 Reasons Why Eating Fruit And Vegetables Is Important
The likelihood is, you already know that eating fruit and vegetables is a wise move. But, too many people fail to recognise the importance behind enriching their diets with these natural foods. Fruit and vegetables are a critical component of ensuring good health and this is applicable to both adults and children. While the NHS advises we should aim to eat 5 portions a day, the truth is, we should eat as much as possible from this food group. Rather than be optional, a healthy diet uses fruit and vegetables as its foundation to ensure the protection of health.
With this said, we’ve put together a list of 10 reasons (and there are more) why eating fruit and vegetables is important alongside physical exercise.
- Reduce Risk Of Health Problems
When you eat fruit and vegetables you’re feeding your body a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, fibre, minerals, and phytochemicals which contribute to good health and help to fight disease. Eating fruit and vegetables every day can reduce your risk of serious health problems including heart disease, Type II diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure.
- They Contain Phytochemicals
If you’re unfamiliar with what phytochemicals are, they’re present in all fruit and vegetables and are responsible for giving them their varied colours. The naturally occurring compounds known as phytochemicals, act as antioxidants for the human body helping to protect cells from damage. Again, the presence of these ‘fighting chemicals’ contributes to reducing the risk of developing various diseases.
- Provide Natural Energy
While many people turn to a coffee or sugary drink when their energy slumps, fruit and vegetables are great natural ways to ensure an uplift. Here are some examples:
- Bananas – rich in potassium, these fruits can pick up energy quickly when it’s needed. Aim to eat one a day with the optimum time being for breakfast. Bananas are also packed full of fibres which slowly digest sugars for a long-lasting energy fix.
- Avocados – the level of nutrients present in avocados alongside protein makes them great for sustaining energy levels during the day. They also contain lots of healthy fats too.
- Goji Berries – these berries may be small in size but they pack a punch of energy and hold antioxidant properties too. These antioxidants have been found to provide the body with energy making them popular amongst athletes.
- Strawberries – strawberries are rich in minerals, vitamin C, and folates too. The deliciously sweet berries also contain phenols that help the body at a cellular level to create energy.
- Oranges – rich in vitamin C, oranges can help reduce oxidative stress in the body and work to prevent fatigue.
- Apples – apples are simple snacks that are largely underestimated in terms of their benefits. They are high in antioxidants named flavonoids that help fight stress and inflammation throughout the body.
- Aid Weight Loss
Losing weight can be a challenge for anybody and diet plays a pivotal part. Without the right diet, weight loss may seem an impossible feat. Plenty of fruit and vegetables can actually boost weight loss and they should certainly be included in a healthy diet. Generally low in calories and high in fibre, here are our top 5 picks for weight loss:
- Grapefruit – a cross between an orange and pomelo, these bitter fruits may take some getting used to taste-wise, but they are commonly tied to weight loss. Half of a grapefruit contains 39 calories and provides 65% of your daily vitamin C needs. They also have a low glycemic index which means they release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly.
- Apples – low in calories yet high in sugar, apples may be a less exotic fruit but nonetheless they’re great for weight loss. Swap out an unhealthy snack for an apple and reap the rewards. Though they are low in calories they are filling enough to sustain energy between meals.
- Berries – again, berries are low in calories but provide lots of vitamin C as well as other fantastic nutrients including manganese. These fruits are very filling and are a great way to start the day. The nutrient powerhouses come with a wide range of weight loss benefits and in plenty of delicious varieties too.
- Fruits With Stones – also known as drupes. Fruits with stones inclusive of peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots are low in calories but high in nutrients and vitamins A and C. These types of fruit have dense flesh making them filling and a great alternative to unhealthy snacks.
- Passion Fruit – a single passion fruit contains just 17 calories yet is a rich source of vitamin C and A, fibre, iron, and potassium. The seeds of this fruit also contain piceatannol which has been found to reduce blood pressure.
Any weight loss journey will require a balanced diet alongside regular exercise, however, to maximise results professionals such as personal trainers can help further. If you’re seeking help, at The Fitbook we have a wide range of vetted professionals to assist. Simply input your location and the profession, from specific event training to generalised fitness, we can help.
- Fibre, Minerals, And Vitamins
It’s generally advised that fruit and vegetables should account for around one-third of the food we eat on a daily basis. Different types of fruit and vegetables contain:
- Vitamin C – helps to maintain healthy body tissues.
- Vitamin A – contributes to the maintenance of vision, skin, and the immune system.
- Folate – helps normal and healthy blood formation.
- Fibre – helps maintain a normal gut.
- Potassium – helps maintain healthy blood pressure and contributes to the functioning of the nervous system.
- Boosts Immune System
Your immune system is extremely important and it needs to be strong. Essentially an army for the attack of viruses and bacteria infection in the body, when weak it cannot perform properly. The likeliness of developing skin disorders, upper respiratory infections, and chronic illnesses is much higher if an immune system is not at its best. Fruit and vegetables are proven to boost immune health to equip your body with the weapons to stop external threats from entering.
- Keep Us Feeling Full
Because of the fibre content of many fruit and vegetables, feeling full is easy with the added benefit of not over-snacking. By adding bulk vegetables to our plates when it comes to dinner or various fruits for breakfast. Here are 5 fruit and vegetables deemed the most filling by dieticians:
- Pears – a medium-sized pear contains 4g of dietary fibre, of which half is a viscous fibre which takes up a large space in the stomach.
- Apples – a great source of fibre, apples contain 80% fibre known as pectin. This viscous fibre creates a gel substance when in the stomach for a sense of fullness.
- Banana – a portable snack full of fibre, bananas are great paired with nut butter for a healthy filling snack on the go any time of the day.
- Carrots – sweet without being high in sugar and naturally high in fibre, carrots are great filling vegetables.
- Avocados – packed full of healthy monosaturated fats, avocados also contain large amounts of fibre too.
- In Pregnancy
Folate (folic acid) aids the body in forming red blood cells which are essential throughout pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women are required to consume an additional 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid in addition to that provided by fruit and vegetables, via supplements or fortified foods. Folic acid helps to reduce the likeliness of spina bifida, tube defects, and anencephaly during fetal development. Asparagus, leafy greens, beetroot, brussel sprouts, and broccoli are just some examples of vegetables high in folate.
- Strong Eye Vision
Orange coloured fruits and vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos and cantaloupes are all rich in beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A which helps your eyes to adjust to night time vision. While night time vision may not seem like too much of a big deal, the vitamin strengthens your eye health overall helping to function better any time of the day too. Snacking on citrus fruits can also help to improve your eye health, as vitamin C too contributes to this.
- Maintain Healthy Skin
Fruit and vegetable consumption has been found to improve the health of skin, giving it a ‘glow’ too. There are various vegetables inclusive of spinach which have been found to directly affect the coloration of skin, over time through eating. One study carried out by researchers from the University of St Andrews concluded that the consumption of fruit and vegetables may directly impact the skin’s condition, making it more ‘attractive’, however, these findings were based on the opinion of others only. With this said, fruit and vegetables certainly do play a part in helping to maintain clear skin which can be boosted through the antioxidants present.
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