We’ve all heard that fruits and veggies are good for us, and that a well-rounded diet contains a good mix of both. But why are fruits and vegetables so important? What benefits do they have for your health? And just how vital are they to our bodies? Read on to find out.
What’s the difference between fruits and vegetables?
You might think that fruits are the sweet snack or dessert plant while vegetables are the savoury plants perfect for salads or sides. However, that’s not always the case. A vegetable is simply the common edible parts of a plant – roots, tubers, stems and leaves. In contrast, fruits are the flowering part of the plant that contain the seeds.
This is why some foods that people consider vegetables are actually fruits. For example, avocado, cucumber, capsicum, tomato, and coffee are all fruits. So if you think that all fruits are high in natural sugars, think again.
Why are fruits and veggies important?
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. First of all, they produce alkaline which helps maintain your bones and muscles. They are also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are essential to a healthy body.
Aside from this, fruits and veggies have a high water and fibre content. This means they help you stay hydrated, aid in digestion, and are low in calories. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will keep you full and help you avoid eating higher calorie foods, which in turn will help you manage your body weight.
Do fruits and vegetables lower disease risk?
Yes! Research shows that consuming more fruits and vegetables can reduce cardiovascular diseases, and prevent up to 20% of all cancer cases. Increasing your fruit and veggie intake can also help reduce instances of:
• High blood pressure
• Type 2 diabetes
• Eye disease
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and bok choy are some of the best vegetables you can add to your diet because they’re full of those antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help prevent disease. However, including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet is key. Studies show that eating a good variety of fruits and veggies increases the benefits seen from their nutrients much more than sticking to a few favourites.
Can’t I just take a multivitamin?
For those looking to justify the lack of fruit and vegetables in their diet, taking a multivitamin simply won’t cut it. While green supplements can provide some of the same nutritional benefits when fresh produce isn’t available, you shouldn’t use these as a regular substitute for the real thing. Simply taking vitamins is even worse, and won’t have the same benefits as eating your fruits and veggies.
Keep in mind that eating a good amount of fruits and vegetables isn’t just about avoiding disease. They’re an important part of a balanced diet, and like we said, can really help you manage or lose weight and stay full while consuming natural foods.
Overhauling your diet can be a daunting task. If you’re looking for nutritional advice alongside your training regime, talk to one of our trainers to get personalised recommendations and assistance.
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