Fruit and Vegetables for Weight Loss
Nature's luscious bounty, fruit and vegetables, are truly works of art. Include a rainbow of colorful fruit and vegetables every day. Rotate your selections to get the most nutritional value. A pink grapefruit, blueberries, green broccoli, yellow squash, orange carrots, a red apple, purple grapes eaten in a day would give you a good variety of nature-made foods packed with vitamins and minerals.
Studies show that people who eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day are at lower risk for heart disease and stroke and cancer.
Fruits and vegetables have vital substances that help protect against stroke, such as vegetables in the cabbage family: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and chard. Fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and melons also contain valuable heart healthy vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Compounds of Fruits and Vegetables:
Antioxidants are organic molecules that can override the damaging effects of oxygen in the tissues at the cellular level. Free radicals are present when the body burns oxygen and can cause cell damage that may lead to cancer, heart disease, eye dysfunction such as cataracts, and joint problems such as arthritis and bone loss.
Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants include spinach, carrots, berries, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cranberries.
Folate (folic acid) is the B vitamin necessary for building new, healthy cells. Studies show folate may help reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Folic acid is included in B vitamin complex supplements.
Folate rich fruits and vegetables include lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, lemons, bananas, and melon.
- BETA CAROTENE
Beta carotene is an element converted to vitamin A in the body. It is a vitamin that acts as an antioxidant because it helps protect the cells from oxidation, the process that promotes disease and aging.
Good sources of beta carotene in fruits and vegetables are carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, apricots, and squash.
Plant based fiber is the part of the fruit or vegetable that cannot be digested by the body. It assists in normal bowel function. Fiber also helps control appetite by giving a feeling of fullness.
Fiber is found in most fruits and vegetables. Good choices for fiber content are berries, peas, apples, pears, broccoli, and artichokes.
Potassium is a mineral that is mostly found in the body cells, with a small amount in the blood. It regulates the balance of water and also promotes muscle growth and a healthy nervous system. Potassium also has the important job of balancing the pH in your body.
Excellent sources found in fruits and vegetables are, of course, bananas, squash, cantaloupe, strawberries, soybeans, and cooked greens.
- VITAMIN C
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)promotes healthy cell growth especially in teeth, gums, bones, ligaments, and blood vessels. It also helps boost the immune system against stress and illness.
Great sources of Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables are oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kiwi, and cantaloupe.
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