Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Benefits of a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables


We know we need to eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. Actually now, to prevent cancer, 8 to 13 servings per day are recommended. A serving is one cup of raw fruits or vegetables, or cup cooked. At a recent lecture I asked a lunch audience to raise their hand if they had at least one fruit or vegetable already that day. No one in that group raised their hand. This is not uncommon. Our processed and convenience foods contain very few fruits and vegetables.

To prevent chronic diseases, fruits and especially vegetables are very important. Vegetables especially have the antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals in the correct combination that help keep the blood sugar in balance, create better energy in the body, and along with fruits build up the immune system.

Each color found in fruits and vegetables focus on building the immune system in its own way. It is important to get a variety of colors, so that you will get a full range of phytochemicals (beneficial plant chemicals) in your daily diet. Research is finding that eating whole fruits and vegetables gives you many more nutrients than you could possible add to a vitamin and mineral supplement. There are over 12,000 phytochemicals, and I have yet to see a supplement, unless it has whole fruits and vegetables in it, have all of the 180 different vitamins or minerals that are required by our body to function daily.

The different colors in fruits and vegetables help our immune system react to different stresses in our daily life. So look at the different colors in your diet. See if they include each of the colors listed below. This is one way to know that you are getting the full benefit of nutrients possible in your diet.

Green Foods - broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Green foods are especially good for the circulatory system. They contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds. Researchers have tried to use these as isolated phytochemicals but find that they only work while in the whole food form.

Red Foods - tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage.

Red foods contain many phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical called lycopene is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin. Lycopene is the phytochemical that make the red foods get their red color.

Orange Foods - carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe.

The orange foods have the carotenoids the help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA. As our mothers told us, carrots, and other orange foods, are especially good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.

Green/Yellow Foods - yellow corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado and honeydew melon.

This combination of green and yellow foods contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. These foods are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Orange /Yellow Foods - oranges, pineapple, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines

These foods that are orange and yellow in color are high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflammation.

White/Green Foods - onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives

White and green combination foods contain a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal phytochemical, and they can act as a poor man's antibiotic. Add garlic and onions in your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high fat meats. Celery has many minerals, especially organic sodium, that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.

Red/Blue/Purple Foods - red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, concord grapes, blackberries.

These dark colored red/blue/purple foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect again heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They have many anti-aging phytochemicals that keep the blood circulating reducing the effects of the Standard American Diet rich in trans fats and processed foods.

When you make a salad make sure you have a variety of different colors. Strive to get at least 5 colors on your plate. Use fruits to balance the rest of the colors needed. This way you will get closer to the 8 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables required, and you will get the variety of nutrients you need daily.

Jane Oelke, N.D., Ph.D. is a Traditional Naturopath and Doctor of Homeopathy in southwest Michigan. She is the author of "Natural Choices for Fibromyalgia" and "Natural Choices for Attention Deficit Disorder." She is a professional speaker on natural health topics. She can be contacted at DoctorOelke@aol.com or through her website at http://www.NaturalChoicesForYou.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Food stamp bill has nutrition provision
The News Journal
A GOP-sponsored bill would limit food stamp spending in Delaware only to foods that have “proven beneficial nutritional value,” a change its sponsors say would bring the federally funded program in line with other state efforts to promote healthy ...
Child hunger a complex problemGreenville News

all 3 news articles »


Superfoods for super health: Certain items have additional nutrition, health ...
Monroe News Star
A walk through your favorite supermarket can be overwhelming. With so many food choices these days, where should you concentrate your shopping to get the most nutritional value? What food items give super overall health benefits to warrant the term ...

and more »


Care2.com

11 Universal Truths in Nutrition We Actually Agree on
Care2.com
There is a lot of controversy in nutrition. Sometimes it seems like people can't agree on anything at all. But there are a few exceptions to this… some nutrition facts that aren't controversial. Here are 11 universal truths in nutrition that people ...



Why Are Serving Sizes on Nutrition Labels So Small?
Parade
Why Are Serving Sizes on Nutrition Labels So Small? (iStock). R. F. of Anna, Tex., writes: The serving sizes on the nutrition labels for some foods are unrealistically small, especially for foods high in fat, sugar, or sodium. Are the small sizes an ...
Food facts: Reading nutrition labels may become much easierSioux City Journal
Nutrition Tip of the Week: Nutrition facts label makeoverLakenewsonline.com
Processors needs time to assess label printer capacity to comment on FDA ...AgraNet (subscription)

all 7 news articles »


Junk nutrition
Tribune-Review
The “success” of Michelle Obama's Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is evidenced in school trash everywhere. That's where these meals are ending up, which explains why more than a million participants in the $12 billion federal school lunch program pulled ...



Siouxland school lunches and elderly nutrition for the week of April 20
Sioux City Journal
Persons 60 years of age and older and their spouses may participate in the elderly nutrition program in Siouxland. In Sioux City, meals are served Tuesday-Friday at Riverside Lutheran Church, 1817 Riverside Blvd.; on Monday at Riverside Gardens' ...

and more »


Share this Article
Algemeiner
In Goodall's book, “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating,” the famous chimp researcher notes, “In his excellent book on family nutrition and healthy appetizing recipes, 'Disease-Proof Your Child,' [Fuhrman] points out that we have been ...



Book helps travelers stay on the right nutritional course
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
And now Zhukovskaya, 33, has condensed much of her health and wellness wisdom into a self-published, pocket-size book called "Traveler's Guide to Couture Nutrition: Top Tips for Eating On-the-Go" (available at alinaz.com for $11.11) which will help you ...



Madison Civic Center hosts talk on nutrition, April 30
Independent Press
She has a masters' degree in nutrition from Cornell University. As a member of the American Dietetic Association and a Registered Dietitian she frequently speaks to community groups on nutrition and fitness topics. She has also taught exercise classes ...



Benefits of Alkaline-Forming Nutrition
U.S. News & World Report (blog)
Although it's often overlooked, the foods you eat – and how they affect your body's pH – can impact a variety of health issues, from sleep to bone health to body composition. If you want to thrive, your body's pH level matters. By adding more alkaline ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.