Today’s contribution is from Good Measure Meals’ registered dietitian, Jess Avasthi MS, RD, LD We have all grown up being told to eat the peas off our plates, and if you’re a parent, you understand the dinner time battles concerning peas on the plate. Most of us understand that it is important to eat fruits and vegetables but we all fall short of the recommended 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, depending on the calories we need. On average, we only get by on about 3 servings per day. So here is a crash course refresher on why we need to reach for that apple:
- Cancer prevention: Top on the list are the powerful properties of fruits and vegetables in preventing various cancers. Specifically, non-starchy vegetables like onions, leafy green vegetables, cabbage and carrots, and a variety of fruits work hand in hand to prevent certain types of cancers found in the mouth, throat, and stomach.
- Cardiovascular health: Studies have shown that individuals who consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables, and who select from a variety of fruits and vegetables tend to have lower levels of cardiovascular disease. Also, a variety of fruits and vegetables adds the balance of potassium needed to better manage blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal health: Fruits and vegetables provide a great source of fiber, which helps scrub out your intestine and keeps you regular, beneficial for preventing certain cancers and ensuring that your gut bacteria have an ample supply of fuel. Gut bacteria are known for a myriad of health benefits. Keeping your gut bacteria happy means a happier and healthier you.
So grab that apple! Add salad sides to your meals when you eat out. Make half your plate vegetables, or keep dried fruit as a snack. It’s not hard to do, and the perks are well worth it.