Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet and can help you stay healthy. It’s important that you eat enough of them.
They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases.
You should eat at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day. Choose different colors and varieties.
A serve of vegetables is about one cup of raw salad vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked.
A serve of fruit is about one medium piece, 2 small pieces of 1 cup canned (no added sugar).
There are plenty of reasons why eating fruits and vegetables are important; but we will concentrate on 3 main reasons.
#1 Healthy –
While it’s true that lean meats, such as chicken or fish, have proven to be a good source of protein for our bodies, studies have shown time and again that red meat can do harm to our bodies. A study by the National Cancer Institute shows that of 500,000 people who ate the most red meat daily, 30% were more likely to die by any health-related cause than those who ate the least.
Making sure we incorporate enough protein in our meals is a valid argument for keeping meat around. Yet, how much protein do we even need in our day-to-day diet? As it turns out, the average adult needs only 50-175 grams of protein a day, based on a 2,000-calorie per day diet. This faction of our daily food intake can definitely be made up with meatless protein-rich foods, like legumes, which are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and very low in fat.
#2 Cheaper –
Meat is expensive. Very expensive. In fact, ground beef–one of the cheapest forms of beef–averages almost $4 a pound, whereas a pound of beans or lentils costs less than $1.
Even though it doesn’t seem like much of a difference on an individual basis, for those who cook, those extra dollars (and pounds) ultimately add up.
Another reason would also be the more vegetarians who support no harm to animals initiative. Thus, you could not only save money, but you can also save animals by still managing to eat healthy and well.
#3 Environment Friendly –
Food waste, by way of animal feed, is a huge discussion in the farming industry, in addition to the enormous carbon footprint required to transport and process the meat, as well as package it for shipment to markets.
In addition, meat wastes incredible amounts of water. A little known fact is 1,800 gallons of water is needed to make just one pound of beef.
Other Reasons to Add Fruits and Vegetables in your Diet –
- Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may help you reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and some forms of cancer.
- The fiber in fruits and vegetables may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Eating more fruits and vegetables may help reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes.
- Generally, fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods, so choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables can help to lower your overall calorie intake.
- Foods that are rich in potassium like oranges and bananas may help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.
- They’re an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
More Insight –
- They can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
- Fruit and vegetables contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
- Almost all fruits and many vegetables are low in fat and sodium. Also, fruits and vegetables are naturally cholesterol free.
- Eating whole fruits and vegetables adds fiber to your diet. Fiber fills you up. This feeling of fullness may help you maintain your weight.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age or in your first trimester of pregnancy, you need folate (folic acid), a nutrient that is found in fruits and vegetables. Folate reduces the risk of birth defects during your baby’s development.
- Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals (plant compounds) that may help prevent or delay disease and help you maintain good health.
- And finally, here’s a great reason to eat more fruits and vegetables – the variety of colors, flavors, and textures that fruits and vegetables bring to meals and snacks.
Hence, try cutting meat out of one of your daily meals, and add an extra portion of fruit or veggies. Your wallet, body, and world will thank you.