In my previous post, I was talking about things I had learned when I was with the nutritionist and he was the one that gave me some answers to the question if it was really important to eat fruits and vegetables. The question is also one that I have been asked over and over from my students! Indeed, I have asked myself very often. Let’s look a little closer at what the benefits of fruits and vegetables are.
When I grew up, whenever I asked that question, the only reply I would get was: You eat it because it is healthy.
But that was not enough for me, besides we didn’t eat it very often. In school, I learned about healthy food, but it was in the form of, this is what you should eat because it is healthy. There was never a discussion on why it was healthy or what the benefits they brought.
In fact, the answer that I got, is the easiest answers to give in order to avoid having to talk about it, or even trying to hide that I really do not know much about the topic.
Over time, I have gained a little more understanding of it and I will write about 5 reasons why it is important to eat fruit and vegetables.
First: Fruits And Vegetables Are Nutritious
Have you ever noticed that fruit and vegetables do not have nutrition facts on them? I believe this is why: Nature offers us unaltered, unprocessed, nutrient-rich food. These are packed with so many valuable things, that a simple nutrition facts sheet will not do it. That is why I call them goodies – they are better than every snack you can get. Your body needs these in order to get the nutrition it needs. We could, for example, take a banana and look up what they offer to our health, and you would be surprised.
This post would not be enough to outline the nutrition they provide to our bodies. It is well known that you get all nutrients that you need from vegetables and fruit, which means you could basically live vegan for the rest of your life. It does not only give you nutrients like other foods do, but it is the best quality grade nutrients that you can find anywhere.
It is a few years from now that I bought a health encyclopedia about fruits and vegetables and I was fascinated with what illnesses can be prevented in the first place, and secondly, what illnesses can be cured. There are tons of information on that. So, definitely, your nutrition is covered with fruits and vegetables.
Second: Fruits And Vegetables Are Low In Calories
Who does not worry about high-calorie intake, especially people that are overweight, like I am? Whenever I go to a fast food restaurant and look at the menu, I see, for instance, 860 calories for a rather small meal, and I usually multiply that by 3 meals per day. So basically, if you would eat 3 x 860 calorie meals per day, your calorie intake is close to 3,000 calories, which is too high!
Roughly 2,000 calories are what you should eat, but it varies depending on age, height, gender, and more. Now add to that the problem that you are most likely not full with that 860 calorie meal: You still need that sweet drink and not to mention that delicious apple pie. You get the point.
Fruits and vegetables are very low on calories. Here are a few numbers and they are rough, but give us a good idea:
- *A banana has only around 90 calories
- *A cup of strawberries around 70 calories
- *A cup of watermelon around 65 calories
- *A cup of cucumber around 35 calories
- *A cup of spinach around 45 calories
Let’s compare these numbers to some common fast foods:
- *The McDonalds Cheeseburger has 300 calories
- *The small McDonalds Coca-Cola drink has 150 calories
- *The small McDonalds Fries has 380 calories.
If you want to understand calories better, click here.
I could put a number of other foods to make this comparison, but this has made it so clear to me, that fruits and vegetables definitely are MY food. And here is a tip: For every meal or snack I prepare to take with me or eat out, I tell myself that I should be taking a fruit or a vegetable along instead of eating other stuff because of my health. It helps to remind yourself frequently that your body needs something nutritious with low calories.
Be honest with yourself: Your body does not ask you for that burger with fries.
Third: You Can Find Them In Such A Variety
It all depends on where you live and what your local farmers provide, or if you have a farmers market in your area, or what your local grocery store offers. Chances are that you get at least 15 different fruits and vegetables near you. If you do not, consider using that small lawn that you have in front of your house. With little effort, you could have a greater variety year-round from that little patch of soil.
Fruit and vegetables are not only available in a variety, but you can prepare them in a variety of ways and there are so many new ways to try out every day. Remember, they are nutritious and have low calories, but besides that, you can have them fresh, frozen, cooked, canned, dried, among others. Right while I am writing this article, I could have a bowl of kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, an exquisite combination and you can surely exchange that for some other snack.
Yes, there is so much variety in these all-nature-provided foods, that you have no limits.
Fourth: Fruits And Vegetables Are Fiber-Rich Foods
Your digestive system will thank you for putting some “lighter” foods into it than just simply highly processed foods. There are so many digestive related issues that you probably never thought could be linked to a diet short on fruits and veggies. For instance, constipation. We all have that one family member that has problems with constipation. Before my wife and I started eating lots of vegetables and fruit, we would have that problem as well. We have tried multiple times to eat lots of fruits and vegetables for a few days and then leave them for a few days – the result is incredible.
Don’t forget to read my article about fiber by clicking here.
Give your body what it is looking for in order to function well. If you put in these fiber-rich foods into your body, your digestive system will be happy and so will your cholesterol levels.
Last, But Not Least: Fruits And Vegetables Give You Energy
This is one of the things that probably many of us will not believe until we tried it. I have tried this over the past 3 years multiple times as well. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables over a period and then eat less than half the quantities over the next period. If you go back to my previous post, you will see how I actually asked the nutritionist to cut back on fruit and vegetables because I felt I had too much energy (if that is even possible). For me, that was a life-changing experience.
And while we are talking about energy, I would like to challenge you to eat at least 20 ounces of vegetables and 15 ounces of fruit daily, over the next 2 weeks. Try to eat at least half of the portions fresh. You can eat the rest cooked, dried, steamed, etc, if you please. Be sure to tell me if you are in and comment after the challenge is over. I cannot wait to hear from you.
Concluding, I find that fruits and vegetables play a major role in my health. Since I have come to understand it from that point of view, it is easier for me to eat them daily, because I am doing my body a huge favor. And slowly, but surely it becomes your habit!
I hope you learned something new today. Please share your thoughts: What was new for you? Can you think of other reasons why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables? Do you agree with the ones that I addressed briefly? I love to hear from you!
Kudos to all fruit and veggie lovers (and everybody else too:-),
P.S. If you learned something new or enjoyed reading my post, please share on social media links below or subscribe to my email list to receive my new articles directly in your mailbox. As always, also leave me a comment in the box below. Thank you so much.