Stay healthy, eat veggies, eat fruits.

Fruits and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet, they naturally contain vitamins and minerals that are good for the health.

These days, our grocery stores have replaced the cabin for fruits and vegetables with processed food that contain preservatives and additives. We might find junk a better food option for convenience, but in reality, vegetables are the best. Junks are not recommended for healthy living as they can be devastating to health.

What are vegetables?

Vegetables are parts of plants consumed by humans or animals for food, they are the edible part of herbaceous plants (stems, fruit or seeds, flowers, roots). Vegetables can be cooked or eaten fresh; they play an important role in human nutrition. They are good sources of minerals like calcium and iron, rich in antioxidants, and contain vitamin A, C, E. Vegetables are low in calories and contain 70% of water, 3.5% protein, 1% fat. Examples of vegetables are; Root (yam, potatoes), leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, silverbeet), marrow (Pumpkin, cucumber, Zucchi), Allium (shallot, garlic, onion), Cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts).

What are fruits?

Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant, they generally contain seeds. Fruits are usually eaten raw, although some varieties can be cooked. Examples are; Melons (watermelons, rockmelons, honeydew melon), tomatoes, avocados, apples, pears, citrus (limes, oranges, grapefruits, Mandarins), berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit).

Fruits are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals rich in fiber and have antioxidants, they also contain folic acid which helps to reduce blood levels of homocysteine a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Vegetable and fruits contain phytochemicals which can help to protect you from some diseases.

Eating fruits and vegetables daily helps to improve your health and reduce the risk of diseases. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, etc. You should eat at least five servings of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day. Fruits are also exciting to eat as it comes in different colors and varieties.

You should eat a variety of vegetables and fruits to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Non-starchy vegetables and fruits may even promote weight loss because their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.  

For you to eat more vegetables and fruits, make it a meal, keep fruits where they can be seen, Use the color and texture of a variety of fruit and vegetable to add interest to your meals, and keep snack-size fruit and vegetable portions in the fridge, etc. Vegetables and fruits cannot contain all the nutrients you need. To get the maximum nutrient from vegetables and fruits, here is a tip for you, add them to your weekly shopping list.

The key nutrient found in vegetables and fruits

Vitamin A: Keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections.

Vitamin C: it helps to heal cuts and wounds and keeps the teeth and gum healthy.

Potassium: it helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Calcium: Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth. It is also needed for the normal functioning of muscles, nerves, and some glands.

Magnesium: Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and is involved with more than 300 enzymes in your body! Inadequate levels may result in muscle cramps and high blood pressure.

Iron: it helps in the normal functioning of cells and maintains healthy blood.

Fiber:  Fiber has numerous health benefits when found in our diet and one of its benefits helps to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.

Vegetables and fruit would always be a viable healthy choice for all. Take water and a serving of fruit daily and stay healthy.