Fruits and vegetables are important part of our diet. When we eat mostly meaty and protein rich food but ignorantly eat only small portion of vegetables, fruits and grains, we tend to develop degenerative diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular, and stroke.
Low consumption of fruit has long been acknowledged as the risk factor for chronic diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and cataract formation. Frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables can prevent oesophageal, stomach, pancreatic, bladder and cervical cancers. In short, a diet high in fruits and vegetables could prevent 20% of most types of cancers.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, provitamins, minerals and a great variety of phytochemicals that contain antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticancer. Further, Fruits and vegetables have fiber, which is important to minimize gastrointestinal problems and diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide nutrients that is important for healthy hair and skin.
- Fruits and vegetables are sources of vitamins A,B1,B2,B3,B6,B9,C,D,E and K.
- Fruits and vegetables are sources of minerals : zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Fruits and vegetables are sources of Phytochemical which is strong antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent carcinogens to become malignant cells.
- Fruits and vegetables have antioxidants which has strength that varies greatly. Instead of taking only the strongest one, it is always better to consume many kind of Fruits and vegetables which have a variety of antioxidant capacities.
- Fruits and vegetables are sources of Fiber which prevent constipation. Fibers are also prebiotics which feed healthy bacteria in our intestines. The bacteria improve immune responses and prevent allergy development. Fibers also lower cholesterol and blood sugar level, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help people lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- We need to take at least two servings of fruits and at least three servings of vegetables per day.
- Tomatoes contain Lycopene (if cooked, the lycopene increases by 170%) which prevent carcinogenesis especially of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer prevalence in Italy is low because of high comsumption of tomato sauce among citizens. Researches have also found that tomato powder significantly reduce prostate carcinogenesis in rats.
- High intake of fruits and vegetables lower the incidence of mortality of chronic diseases, including obesity. Fruits and vegetables lower risk of being obese by 24% !
- Studies shows clearly that intake Fruits and vegetables has an inverse relationship with coronary heart disease. It means that the more frequent and higher intake of Fruits and vegetables, the lower opportunity the cardiovascular disease develops. The occurence decrease by 4-7% for each additionally fruits and vegetables serving consumption.
- Adequate intake of Fruits and vegetables has been observed to protect against coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes
- Intake of Fruits and vegetables has been studied to inverse-correlate with many healthy lifestyle aspects, especially with coronary heart disease incidence. Increasing individual fruits and vegetables consumption by 600 grams per day could reduce the incidence of stroke by 19% and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 31%.
- There is a similar association between fruits and vegetables consumption and decreased blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke . Adding more fruits and vegetables serving will lead to a healthy diet by reducing blood pressure.
- High intakes of fruits and vegetables will improve blood glucose control and lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes. In a study with 10,000 adults in the USA, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes is 20% lower if you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Intake of Fruits and vegetables create protective shield againts oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum cancer. Generally, people with higher intakes of fruits and vegetables could reduce their risk of developing cancer by 19%. Take at least two servings of fruits and vegetables per day to avoid cancer. Fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables per week will yield as if you don't eat any fruit or vegetable at all.
- High intake of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli decrease the risk of bladder cancer in men significantly.
- High intake of fruits and vegetables significantly reduced the risk of lung cancer for both smokers and non-smokers. Fruits and vegetables which is rich with carotene and vitamin C decrease incidence and severity of cataract.
- Fruits and vegetables contain Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids that preventing damage to the retina which is caused by light or oxidants.
- Fruits and vegetables consumption also reduces risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, thanks to antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids.
- Intake of fruit especially apple can be associated with higher expiratory volume values, hence indicating a better lung function.
- Antioxidants in Fruits and vegetables juices can prevent Alzheimer disease because fruits and vegetables juices promote detoxification to human body.
- How about person living with HIV and AIDS? Good nutrition including the consumption of fruits and vegetables can contribute to the wellness of people with HIV and AIDS and may even prolong life. The necessary vitamins, minerals supplied by fruits and vegetables can boost their immune systems.
- All creatures' cells are continuously exposed to oxidation in air, water,and everywhere. The oxidant may also be produced by metabolic in the cell itself. However, it is important to maintain a balance between oxidants and antioxidants to sustain optimal physiological conditions. Too much oxidants over antioxidants wiil lead to a condition called oxidative stress. This can cause damage to macromolecules such as lipids, proteins and DNA and consequently develops cancer and chronic cardiovascular disease.
- We need to consume sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidant, to prevent oxidative stress due to free radicals induced by oxidants. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of antioxidant compounds such as phenolics and carotenoids which protect cellular systems from oxidative damage and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
- Carotenoids provide photoprotection by means of their ability to inactivate the reactive oxidants, while phenolics give essential health benefits which reduce risk of chronic diseases.
- Different phytochemical contained in different Fruits and vegetables. They build together a synergy to fight the harmful oxidants. For example we can combine orange, apple, grape, and blueberry which give a synergistic effect between in antioxidant from many phytochemicals in various types and quantities.
What is Free Radicals ?
- Cancer forming or carcinogenesis is a multistep process. Free radicals causes DNA damage. If left unrepaired, it will lead to cell mutation or a cell whose program is damaged. In turn, it cause DNA cross-linking, chromosomal breakage and rearrangement. At this point, normal cells have changed to cancer cells.
- Antioxidant and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have complementary mechanisms of action, capable of fighting and deactivate free radicals attack above, at every step. Enzyme contained in fruits and vegetables also organize detoxification, stimulation of immune system and, regulation of hormone metabolism and provide antibacterial and antiviral effect.
What is body Acidity ?Human body has pH around the normal level at 7. pH is an abbreviation for "power of Hydrogen" which range between 1 or most acidic to 14 or most alkaline. Ideally, our pH should be a bit alkaline which is between 7.3 to 7.45.
- Acidity is the principal cause of heart disease. Many fats are extremely important and essential for cardiovascular health. But acidity from bad fat create inflammation to heart blood vessel.
- Our body responds to the acidity by lining the vessels with fatty plaques to prevent life-threatening leaks, which can lead to death. But the piping for the blood to flow through become narrower and narrower which eventually blocks the blood flow to the heart causing death.
- Acidic environments are also breeding grounds for anaerobic pathogens whereas alkaline environments keep bad bacteria inactive.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in precursors or material to form bicarbonate ions which serve to block acids in order to maintain normal pH which is very important for our body. If ion concentration is low, then our body will mobilize alkaline calcium salts from bone. So, because fruits and vegetables block acids, there is no need to mobilize. In turn, this will preserve calcium in bones which will otherwise be mobilized to maintain normal pH.
Tips and recommendation :
1. For an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals and other compounds from fruits and vegetables, buy fresh fruits and vegetables without bruises, soft spots, mold, decay or broken skins. Wash all fruits and vegetables before cutting, slicing and eating. Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator but once cut or sliced, fruits and vegetables should be tightly sealed in plastic bags before stored in the refrigerator and consumed within three days.
2. Consume Fruits and vegetables with at least 5 different colors from red, orange, yellow, white, green, blue and purple, each one with different phytochemicals which will work synergically in our body. Red color of tomato and watermellon are sign of lycopen which prevent heart, prostat and colon diseases. Purple cabbage fight Alzheimer. Orange flesh mango, sweet potato and pumpkin protect lung and heart. Green vegetables are low in calories, low in fat, high in protein per calorie, high in dietary fiber, high in iron and calcium, and very high in phytochemicals such as vitamin C, carotenoids, lutein, folate, magnesium as well as vitamin K which has so many benefits for our health.
3. In fact, there is no super-food, including in fruits and vegetables kingdom, that contain all vitamins, all minerals and phytochemicals singly. So we need to consume a variety or many kinds of fruits and vegetables, which will work powerfully in synergy. It is the only way to fulfill our need of healthy nutritions for our body.
4. Do not take fruit immediately after a maincourse meal. Fruits should be consumed when our stomach is empty or almost empty. Fruits should be eaten at least 15 minutes prior to a fatty and high protein meal. But in the other hand you should allow at least 2 hours for your stomach to be empty before eating fruits afterwards.
5. Living in a big city nowadays lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Worse, we are overfed with fast food which is loaded with fat, sugar, calories and chemicals. Obesity become inevitable in modern societies. So, we need to switch at once from junk-food to fruits and vegetables as and enjoy healthy lifestyle you deserve. Fruits and vegetables nutrients fight bacterial invasion, infections, aging and chronic illness.
6. Mix Fruits and vegetables with other food. Add slices of fruit to breakfast cereals. Fresh tomato and cucumber to pizza. Enjoy vegetable salads and add carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.
7. Make fruits or vegetable juices as healthy drinks. Check out recipes featuring fruits and vegetables.