By now we’ve all heard that we should eat more fruits and vegetables high in fiber. But what’s the big deal? What’s so great about the benefits of fruits and vegetables anyway?
Over the past few decades, numerous studies show that we should eat more healthy fruits and vegetables, which is the same advice our moms have been nagging us about for years (but often don’t follow!)
Here are some of the great benefits of fruits and vegetables high in fiber:
• Improve your blood sugar balance,
• Prevent the growth of some cancers,
• Lower and control your blood pressure,
• Avoid digestive problems and diverticulitis,
• Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke,
• Decrease cataracts and macular degeneration,
• And help manage your appetite and your weight.
It’s recommended that you aim for nine or more servings a day, amounting to about 4½ cups. And it’s best to go for vegetables and fruits that are rich yellow, orange and red, plus dark green leafy veggies.
Choose Healthy Fruits and Vegetables High in Fiber
Although most vegetables and fruits are low in fat and calories, the healthiest fruits and vegetables are high fiber foods, rich in essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and important antioxidants.
Besides the benefits of fruits and vegetables listed above the carotenoid, flavonoid and cruciferous antioxidants power-up your immune system.
Berries are a great source of carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants. Some other excellent fruit choices are oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, papaya, peaches, apricots, kiwi, plums, pineapple and cantaloupe.
And healthy fresh fruit is so easy to add to your daily meals and snacks.
Vegetables rich in carotenoid and cruciferous antioxidants include dark green leafy varieties, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce, plus broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Some of the other particularly healthy vegetable choices are carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions, beans, squash, and cooked tomatoes.
How to Get More Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Here are tips for eating more of the healthiest fruits and vegetables that can keep you healthy, well and looking and feeling your absolute best:
1. Include vegetables or fruit at every meal or mini-meal. For example try oatmeal with berries for breakfast, a salad for lunch, raw veggies and a few raw nuts for a snack and stir-fry for dinner with fruit for dessert.
2. Learn to use fruit to fulfill your desire for something sweet tasting.
3. Start filling half your plate with vegetables at every meal and adding more veggies to your recipes. For example, make soups, stir-fries and whole grain pasta with lots of chopped veggies in the sauce.
4. Try grilling vegetables (without using much oil) and shish kabobs.
6. Always keep some fresh fruit available – in the front of the fridge or on top of the counter where you can see it and remember to eat it.
7. Branch out and try healthy vegetables and fruits that are new to you. And ditch the white potatoes, French fries and fruits canned in syrup.
Now that you know how to include more healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis, it’s time for you to start reaping the many extraordinary health benefits of fruits and vegetables high in fiber.