Top Reasons to Eat MORE Fruits and Veggies

July 15, 2014 12:00 am

We all know that eating fruits and veggies are important for a healthy diet.  Guidelines have changed in the past years about how many we should have daily.  There have also been some recent studies that support why we should continue to eat our fruits and veggies!

How many a day?  The Healthy Eating Pyramid, created by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day), depending on one’s caloric intake. The old message of “5a Day”  has been replaced by the latest research.

Top Reasons to increase your fruit and veggie intake to the new guidelines.

  1. Decreased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke – The largest and longest study to date, the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, followed women for 14 years. The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
  2. Lower Blood Pressure – One of the most convincing associations between diet and blood pressure was found in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study researchers found that people with high blood pressure who followed a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, reduced their systolic blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure by almost 6 mm Hg—as much as medications can achieve.
  3. Protect Against Cancer –  A massive report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that non-starchy vegetables—such as lettuce and other leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, as well as garlic, onions, and the like—and fruits “probably” protect against several types of cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, and stomach; fruit probably also protects against lung cancer.
  4. Improve Gastrointestinal Health – With their high fiber, fruits and veggies can calm the irritable bowel and, by triggering regular bowel movements, can relieve or prevent constipation.
  5. Safeguard Vision – Other than the Vitamin A in carrots, Other fruits and vegetables help prevent two common aging-related eye diseases—cataract and macular degeneration—which afflict millions of Americans over age 65.

To read more about the benefits of fruits and veggies in your diet read more at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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