January 22

Skip The Juicing; Enjoy Fresh Fruits

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Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet. Eating enough color each day gives your body the vitamins, minerals, and fiber it needs to function optimally. If you've been having trouble sticking to a healthy diet, try adding some fruits or vegetables to your daily snack routine.

"Fruit is nature's candy and vegetable is its multivitamin pill."

Then, why resort to eating candies and other artificially sugar-coated stuff that minimize your health quotient?

Vegetables are the food of the earth, but fruits taste of the heavens.

Terri Guillemets // @terriguillemets

Why should we eat fruits and vegetables regularly?

A healthy diet can be attained by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

An article in the Wall Street Journal states that "Americans who ate more produce had higher income, were better educated or had Medicaid coverage."

This means that healthier diets are not just about individual health but also economic benefits.

Fruit and vegetable are high in phytonutrients and may even have anti-inflammatory qualities to it. Eating a salad with lunch every day could not only help with weight loss but it could help reduce the risk for heart disease too!

Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for their health, but they don't know the specific benefits.

Recent studies have found that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. Studies have found that individuals who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day are less likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and certain types of cancer than those who reported eating less than one fruit or vegetable serving per day.

In this article, we’ll look at how Mother Nature’s bounties of goodness are truly advantageous and essential in our lives.

What are Phytonutrients? 

Phyto in German = Plants.

Nutrients = nourishing essentials for our growth, development, and survival.

Phytonutrients are the chemicals/ compounds found in plants. According to WebMD there are 6 important phytonutrients; Carotenoids and Flavonoids being the most potent apart from several others.

Since many phytonutrients give plants their pigments (like how our hair is black due to the pigment melanin); these magical compounds are deemed to be diverse in nature and affect multiple areas in our bodies.

5 colors of Phytonutrients

It is recommended to eat any two foods from each of the below color groups every day. These are the reds, purple/ blue, greens, whites, and yellows or oranges.

The consumption of these colorful foods that are clearly anti-oxidants rich, high on essential minerals and fiber is a clear-cut savior and a need of the hour in these testing times.

Role of Phytonutrients

  • Antioxidants like the Carotenoids, responsible for the bright red, yellow, green, blue hues- fight aging and tackle damage to tissues.
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Responsible for enhanced immunity and eye health.
  • Protect from cancer and heart disease.
  • Fiber-rich, hence keeping you full for long.
  • Low on calories hence lower risk of weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes, and blood pressure.

Thus, stands the testimony that these multicolored fruits and vegetables when consumed with spices and condiments ward of diseases and promote longevity.

Let’s take on the colors one by one now.

Importance of Red colored Fruits and Vegetables

All red like the strength and blood

Nutrients Present

  • Lycopene
  • Ellagic Acid
  • Quercetin
  • Hesperidin
  • Anthocyanidins

Benefits galore

  • Supports urinary tract and DNA health
  • Reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Reduces tumor growth and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Protects against cancer and heart diseases.

Sources

  • Red Apple
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Cherry
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Beetroot
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red Amaranthus
  • Rhubarb

Some drool worthy yumminess with Red Color Fruits and Vegetables

Importance of Purple/Blue colored Fruits and Vegetables

All purple/blue like the loyal royalty

Nutrients Present

  • Resveratrol
  • Phenolics
  • Flavonoids
  • Anthocyanidins
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Fiber and Vitamin C

Benefits galore

  • Supports retinal health.
  • Boosts the activities of our immune system.
  • Happy digestive tract.
  • Improved calcium and mineral absorption.
  • Reduces tumor growth, fights inflammation and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Fights cancer and promotes healthy aging.
  • Beneficial for the Heart, Brain, Bones, Arteries, and cognitive health.

Sources

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Black currants
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Purple cabbage
  • Eggplant

Some drool worthy yumminess with Purple/Blue Color Fruits and Vegetables

Importance of Green colored Fruits and Vegetables

All green like the fresh vitality

Nutrients Present

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Isoflavones
  • Indoles
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulphoraphane
  • EGCG- Epigallocatechin Gallate
  • Abundant in calcium, Vitamin C, Folate and beta carotene

The green color is basically due to chlorophyll (a pigment that gives plants it’s color).

Benefits galore

  • Supports retinal health and vision.
  • Boosts our immune system.
  • Improved calcium and mineral absorption.
  • Lowers blood pressure, fights inflammation and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Fights cancer and promotes healthy aging.
  • Beneficial for healthy Lung, Liver, Arteries and Gums.
  • Aids in healing wounds.

Sources

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kiwi
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Artichokes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green apples
  • Green peas
  • Okra
  • Lettuce
  • Pears
  • Green bell peppers
  • Green grapes
  • Snow peas
  • Zucchini
  • Leafy greens
  • Spring Onions
  • Leeks

Some drool worthy yumminess with Green Color Fruits and Vegetables

Importance of White colored Fruits and Vegetables

All white as the divine

Nutrients Present

  • Allicin
  • Quercitin
  • Indoles
  • Glucosinolates
  • EGCG- Epigallocatechin Gallate

Benefits galore

  • Balances our hormone levels.
  • Boosts our immune system.
  • Strengthens bones and keeps them healthy.
  • Supports circulatory system, arterial function.
  • Fights heart diseases and cancerous cells.
  • Reduces risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers.
  • The EGCG is essential and aids in weight loss, reduces inflammation, prevents heart and brain diseases.

Sources

  • Onion
  • Mushroom
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Shallots
  • Bananas

Some drool worthy yumminess with White Color Fruits and Vegetables

Importance of Yellow colored Fruits and Vegetables

All yellow as the fresh and happy

Nutrients Present

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Hesperidin
  • Alpha and beta Carotene
  • Beta Cryptoxanthin
  • Lycopene
  • Flavonoids
  • Potassium and Vitamin C

Benefits galore

  • Works in tandem with Magnesium and Calcium for stronger bones.
  • Reduces the risk of Macula (in our eye) degeneration.
  • Promotes collagen formation and healthy joints.
  • Oversees and regulates the alkaline balance in the body.
  • Lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and manages blood pressure.
  • Reduces risk of prostate cancers.
  • Aids to avoid pre-mature aging and boosts immunity.

Sources

  • Apricot
  • Carrot
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Fig
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Yellow potatoes

Some drool worthy yumminess with Yellow Color Fruits and Vegetables

Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables during pregnancy

A lot of mothers-to-be are asked if there is anything they can do to improve their health during pregnancy. Eating more fruits and vegetables may be an easy way to make a huge difference.

The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables during pregnancy are innumerable. These foods help to support the optimal development of the baby's brain and eyes. In addition, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide mothers-to-be with adequate nutrient intake for themselves as well as their babies.

These foods also have been found to reduce risk factors for certain chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 2, which can increase a mother's risk for preterm labor during pregnancy.

Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables for skin

Let's face it, we all want youthful and healthy-looking skin. The number one way to achieve a healthy complexion is through a healthy lifestyle, a diet loaded with a variety of fruits and vegetables can help maintain healthy skin.

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fruits and veggies nourish your skin cells, which helps them stay healthier longer. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in water, which helps hydrate your skin. A diet rich in vitamin C from foods such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and grapefruit will give your skin that natural glow.

Can you lose weight by eating fruits and vegetables?

In a time of excess and gluttony, it's easy to forget that healthy eating is the key to a successful weight loss journey. But there are some important things to keep in mind when focusing on fruits and vegetables as part of a weight-loss plan.

They provide nutrients that sustain your body and also have all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. And because of their low-calorie content, you can eat as much as you want without worrying about packing on pounds. It is important to know that only 20% of the calories in produce are absorbed by your body, so it is not a miracle food.

However, because many people don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, any additional fruit or vegetable intake will help.

Can we use fruits and vegetables for cooking and baking?

Some people might be surprised to find that fruits and vegetables can not only replace the need for eggs when baking but also flavor cakes, muffins, or even pizza! This opens up a range of healthy options for cooking and baking at home.

There are many benefits to using fruits and vegetables in cooking instead of eggs. There are no cholesterol or saturated fats. The nutritional content also becomes more nutritious as the sugar and vegetable oil levels stay lower during the cooking process. It is a much healthier alternative to using refined sugars or oils.

What does fruit do in baking?

Fruits are also often used in baking to provide natural sweetness and flavor; raisins, applesauce, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, and cherries are all commonly used. It can be used in batters, fruit pies, muffins, cookies, cakes, quick bread, or scones.

Baking with fruit is fairly simple if the types of fruit are known ahead of time. A pie, for example, can make use of many different types of frozen berries for a pie filling or apples for an apple pie.

Whether baked, fried, or boiled, fruits and vegetables are a healthy addition to any meal. Fruit can also be added as an accent in cakes or pies for that extra fruity touch!

Does baking fruit destroy nutrients?

Many people believe that baking fruit reduces the nutritional value because of higher temperatures and longer cooking time. However, a study done by the University of Illinois states that there is no significant loss in nutrients when baking fruit. The University of Illinois found that dry heat cooking didn't reduce vitamin C or beta-carotene content in apples and pears.

How do you soften fruit before baking?

Fruit is a delicious dessert when it is made into pies, cakes, and other baked goods. However, when the fruit is cut up and put in the oven, it can become very hard and tough. Softening the fruit before baking makes the cooking process easier and ensures that your bakes will turn out perfectly every time.

Many people are looking for an easy way to soften up their fruit before they bake it. The process to soften your fruit before baking is simple. Cut up the fruit and place it in a bowl with lukewarm water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for at least 4 hours.

Conclusion 

Fruits are of paramount importance to take care of our body, mind, and soul.

How?

Consumption of just one color band wouldn’t be beneficial. Feed them with “rainbow colors”. Whole and hearty.

Though it’s advisable to eat fruits and vegetables as a whole it’s absolutely fine to blitz a company of them into a quick smoothie or a milkshake as low on sugar as possible.

Savoir this…

There is no question that eating 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day can considerably improve your health- byways of the mood and body. Pick on variety, that’s the key.

Coz the most vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables have the most nutrition. Eating an array of colors ensures that you get the benefit from all of them.

Do keep a track of what goes into your body over the course of a week, every week, and stay mindful.

Fruits and Vegetables do not fight disease. It is their absence that causes disease.

Happy indulgence!!!!

Credits:

  • https://www.livescience.com/ by Jessie Szalay
  • https://www.webmd.com › Diet & Weight Management
  • https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/nutrition/fruits-veggies
  • http://bellezuli.blogspot.com/2014/03/5-colors-of-phytonutrients.html

Tags

Baking Basics, Fruits, Healthy, Vegetables


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