Do you eat fruits and vegetables everyday? Most of us do, but we could benefit from eating a bit more.
Fruits and veggies are important components of a healthy diet. They are rich sources of most of the minerals and vitamins we need to maintain a healthy and strong body. They contain dietary fibre, antioxidants, flavonoids, etc. that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Furthermore, they are low in calories, so they can help prevent weight gain and reduce the risk of obesity.
So how much should we eat?
Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least five portions of fruits and veggies every day. This is equivalent to at least 400 grams per day.
Variation is key.
Fruits and veggies all contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, so to get the most out of your daily intake, your portions should include a broad variety of fruits and veggies.
7 reasons why you should eat more fruit and vegetables
1. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre
Fruits and veggies are a good source of dietary fibre. They help you feel full, so you will eat less. This will lower your energy intake, and it will help you maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, dietary fibres help your digestion and reduce the risk of diseases that can be linked to lifestyle, like type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals
Fruits and veggies contain folate, vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is important for your immune system. It helps prevent the disease scurvy, and it may also help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
3. Fruits and vegetables contribute to a healthy and balanced diet
Whether you want to control your weight, get more energy, avoid lifestyle-related diseases or simply just feel better, eating a well-balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do. Make sure you get a little of everything, as this will help you get all the important vitamins and minerals you need.
4. Fruits and vegetables are delicious and tasty
Fruits and vegetables are packed with flavour. Some are sweet and others are sour and tangy. Combine the different flavours to create a delicious meal that will satisfy all your senses.
5. Fruits and vegetables are good for the environment
If you want to do something good for the environment you should cut down on animal products and eat fruits and vegetables instead. Animal production causes a lot of CO2 per produced kilo, so by choosing more vegetarian foods you will help the environment.
6. Fruits and vegetables are cheap
Replace your afternoon snack with a piece of fruit. An apple or some mango costs around half the price of most chocolate bars or packets of crisps. Choose local fruits and vegetables, as they will normally be cheaper than imported products. You can also go for the frozen products that are usually even cheaper, but still contain all the good vitamins and minerals.
7. Fruits and vegetables are a good alternative to sweets and cakes
Some fruits can contain a lot of sugar, but they are still a much better alternative than sweets and cakes. Because the fruits also contain vitamins, minerals, fibre etc., which you will not get from highly processed foods that are instead usually full of fat, trans fats, salt, artificial flavours etc.
Eat them fresh or buy them frozen
Fresh fruits and vegetables are high on taste, colour and nutrients. But prolonged storage or cooking can reduce these qualities. Therefore it is a very good idea to eat your fresh fruit straight away, or buy them frozen instead. By using frozen fruit you will reduce the loss of vitamin C especially, that otherwise takes place over a short period of time when storing fresh fruit.
Another huge advantage of frozen fruits and vegetables is the convenience. You save time and effort because someone else has already rinsed, peeled and chopped the food for you. This cuts down on both prep and cook time and gives you more precious time for you and your family.
Frozen foods also help you reduce food waste, because you don’t have to worry about tossing fruits and vegetables that have seen better days.
Did you know?
Low fruit and vegetable intake is among the top 10 selected risk factors for global mortality. World Health Organization estimates that up to 2.7 million lives could be saved annually with enough fruit and vegetable consumption
WHO recommends that we consume more than 400 grams of fruits and veggies per day. Potatoes and similar starchy vegetables are not part of the 400 grams
Some studies have shown that fruit has a protective effect against the risk of lung cancer and bladder cancer
Fruit is low in calories? For example, 100 grams of mango contains 67 calories. In comparison 100 grams of milk chocolate contain 550 calories