Fruits and vegetables are obviously good for our health, but that isn’t quite enough to motivate most of us to eat several each day. It is much easier to bring yourself to modify your diet once you review some of the significant health problems the development of which can be made much less likely by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
1. Heart Disease
Fruits and vegetables help to slow the hardening of your arteries, which in turn makes it less likely that you will develop heart disease. Due to the fact that heart disease involves the heart not getting enough blood and oxygen, it is a common cause of death. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a small price to pay in exchange for this chance of living a longer life.
2. Being Overweight
Any attempt to lose weight will benefit from increased fruit and vegetable consumption. This is partly because fruits and vegetables are the kind of foods that make you feel fuller for longer periods of time, thereby reducing the likelihood that you will decide to snack on less healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables are also very low in both calories and fats, so they can help to satisfy your urge to eat without breaking your diet.
3. Premature Aging of the Skin
Vitamin C is linked to skin that is better hydrated and develops wrinkles at a slower rate. Oranges, green peppers, kiwis and grapefruits are all excellent sources of vitamin C (and so are also excellent ways to help your skin look its best).
4. Bacterial and Viral Infections
Vitamin A helps to strengthen your immune system, which means that you will be able to recover from things like colds and throat infections more quickly than would be the case if you had less vitamin A at your disposal. Some of the best sources of vitamin A include tomatoes and watermelon. However, eating any fruits and vegetables will help you fight infection in a generalized sense, because those who eat up to ten portions each day have much more energy.
5. Gum Disease
If your gums become inflamed, this can lead to gum disease (or Gingivitis). Vitamin C reduces mouth inflammation, thereby reducing your risk of gum disease. To take advantage of this, make sure you eat lots of broccoli, grapefruit, green peppers and oranges.
Must Read: The Alignment of Fitness and Oral Health
6. Birth Defects
If you ingest plenty of folic acid while you are pregnant, this makes it less likely that your baby will suffer from any birth defects. You can get folic acid from most berries, as well as from broccoli and peas. In addition, folate helps your body produce the red blood cells that are responsible for supplying your internal organs with the oxygen that they need to work properly.
7. Prostate Cancer
There is a currently baffling link between eating plenty of tomatoes and being less likely to develop prostate cancer. Scientists have yet to properly explain why this is the case, but men certainly do appear to benefit from eating lots of tomatoes on a weekly basis.
When you have a stroke, the blood supply to the brain is disturbed and you quickly lose brain function (which can be fatal). This is another condition that is more likely to occur in people with harder arteries, and as such can be prevented by trying to slow the rate at which your arteries harden. As you learned above in connection with heart disease, you can slow the hardening of your arteries by eating many portions of fruits and vegetables each day.
9. Eye Problems
People who consume higher quantities of vitamin A appear to have healthier eyes and fewer vision problems. Spinach and watermelon are both excellent sources of vitamin A that will help keep your eyes healthy, but most fruits and vegetables are sources of at least some vitamin A.
The fiber that can be found in all fruits and vegetables helps to keep your entire digestive system in good health. Without enough fiber, you will be prone to uncomfortable and painful digestive problems such as constipation (which can in turn lead to hemorrhoids and anal fissures).
11. High Blood Pressure
Current scientific studies support the idea that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your blood pressure within healthy limits. If you have lower blood pressure, your will have a healthier circulatory system (and, most importantly, a healthier heart).
Aim to eat around nine or ten portions of fruits and vegetables each day, but when this is not feasible remember that as few as five or six portions will at least slightly reduce your risk of developing the above conditions. However, don’t forget that fruits and vegetables will only be good for you if they are part of a varied diet. For example, you need to eat plenty of whole grains and protein as well.