Vegetables are the mainstay of any healthy diet. There is a growing body of research that supports less cereal consumption and higher vegetable and fruit consumption; a diet more similar to our ancestors. Vegetables provide carbohydrates and fiber. They are also an essential source of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals; they are mostly alkaline foods. The nutritional value of vegetables is in comparison, many vegetables have very high nutrients when compared with other foods. These properties help to burn fat, build our muscles and make digestion easy. This study will examine the importance of taking fruits and vegetables to human health.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits are the fleshy seeds that grow on plants. They are sweet and edible in their raw state. Vegetable comes from the Latin word vegetabilis (animated) and from vegetable (enliven0. The vegetable is a plant or part of a plant used as food typically as an accomplishment to meat or fish, such as cabbage. They are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals or as snacks. Vegetables may be eaten raw or cooked.
That is why their daily consumption could assist to prevent major diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Almost approximately 16.0 million (1.0%) disability-adjusted life years and a measure of the potential life lost because of premature mortality. The years of productive life lost due to disability) and 1/ of deaths million (2.8%) globally include low fruit and vegetable consumption. The insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables is also estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths and approximately 11% of stroke deaths worldwide.
Significance of fruits to our well-being
They are an absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their color and flavor, but because of their unique nutrition profile that helps the body stay fit and healthy.
- Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to get rid of cholesterol and fats from the body and get relief from constipation as well.
- Fruits contain many anti-oxidants such as poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin C, and anthocyanin. These compounds, firstly, help the human body to be protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancer; and secondly, help the body to develop the capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits that are compared to vegetables and cereals have very high anti-oxidant values, measured by their oxygen radical absorbent capacity.
- Anthocyanins are a flavonoid category of polyphenolic compounds found in some “blue fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, cowberry, chokeberry, blueberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties which remove free radicals from the body and this offers protection against cancer, aging, and infections.
- Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes, and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
- Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Fibre is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulitis. Fibre contains foods such as fruits, which help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Vitamin C is also important for the growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods and in addition 400 micrograms of synthesis folic acid from fortified foods or supplements
Importance of vegetables to our well-being
Vegetables such as fruits are low in fat and contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals
Additionally, vegetables are packed with soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber known as non-starch polysaccharides, such as cellulose, mucilage, hemicelluloses, gums, pectin, etc. Thus, sufficient fiber offers protection from conditions such as hemorrhoids, colon cancer, chronic constipation, and rectal fissures.
Furthermore, the majority of common vegetables are very low in calories, they have an average of about 16 calories per 100g. Examples include cabbage, spinach, bitter lemon, eggplant, etc. In addition, vegetables are rich in potassium; examples include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), soybeans, spinach, lima beans, and lentils. Vegetables are also rich in folate.
Research studies suggest that one may eat any fruits daily, but it is recommended to eat at least 2-3 servings of fresh fruits every day. A variety of fruits type, colors, and flavors should be encouraged to get maximum health benefits. Yellow band orange color fruits are rich sources of Alpha and Beta carotenes, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin, while blue-black colored fruits such as black or blueberries are good sources of polyphenol anthocyanin antioxidants vegetables.
Vegetables and fruits’ health-benefitting properties are good because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and anti-oxidants all of which help the body to prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues, and organs, by consuming an adequate amount of vegetables and fruits, you are protecting yourself from minor ailments such as wrinkling of the skin, hair-fall and memory loss; to major ailments such as age-related muscular degeneration of the retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis). Vegetables and fruits have similar nutritive properties because 70 percent or more of their component is water. They play important roles in the well-being of humankind. Help yourself by eating these naturally endowed products.