Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet because they contain many nutrients that support good health. Regular consumption of produce has been linked to lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, reports the Harvard School of Public Health. Fruits and vegetables contain both vitamins and minerals and eating a variety of them ensures that you are getting adequate supplies of each.
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Most fruits and vegetables will contribute to your fiber intake, but some have more than others. Fiber is important for healthy digestion and keeps your system regular. Adequate fiber intake also promotes a healthy heart and a reduction in the chances of developing heart disease. Good high-fiber fruits and vegetables include raspberries, blackberries, broccoli, artichokes, peas, bananas and figs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adding a couple servings of these choices will up your fiber count and contribute a necessary nutrient to your diet.
According to the CDC, healthy blood pressure relies on getting enough potassium in your diet. Many people aren't getting adequate potassium so including fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, greens, bananas, kiwi and broccoli can contribute to healthy levels. Potassium is also important for muscles, nerves and heart and kidney health so eating these types of produce is important for your health.
Folate is a nutrient that is especially important for women in their child-bearing years because it reduces the chances of several birth defects involving a baby's brain and spinal cord. Folate is also called folic acid and is one of the B vitamins that help prevent depression and osteoporosis. Good sources of folate include spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, asparagus, papaya and oranges.
Vitamin A is a nutrient that is abundant in several varieties of fruits and vegetables. According to the CDC, this vitamin is essential for eye and skin health as well as helping your body resist infection. Vitamin A is present in sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, greens, cantaloupe, red peppers and Chinese cabbage. These choices are available year round which makes it easy to include them in a healthy diet.
Bell peppers, kiwis, strawberries, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli, pineapple, oranges and mangoes are all good sources of vitamin C. Adequate vitamin C intake promotes healthy skin. This necessary nutrient is also responsible for promoting gum and teeth health and can help your body absorb iron at a more efficient rate.