Nutritional Values of Eating Fruits and Vegetables Daily
When we think of fruits and vegetables, what types come to mind? Most people think of fruits like bananas, oranges, apples, and pineapple. However, there are many more varieties to choose from! These fruits and vegetables range in size, shape, colour, taste and other characteristics. Here is a list of some of the most common fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables include
- Kiwi fruit
Fruits include seeds, while most vegetables are made up of leaves, stems and roots. From a health perspective, fruits and vegetables generally are classified according to their nutritional value. Fruits tend to have a sweeter or more acidic taste and therefore are typically used in juices, sandwiches or desserts.
- Green beans
While fruits tend to have more vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre, vegetables include relatively higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and silicon. Fruits include a wide variety of flavours and colours, whereas vegetables are more limited in terms of colour, texture, flavour and nutrition. From an everyday food perspective
Fruits and vegetables may be categorized as
- Green (e.g., banana)
- Yellow (e.g., mango)
- Red (e.g., tomato)
- Orange (e.g., tomato or vegetable)
- Blue (e.g., blueberry)
- Purple (e.g., avocado)
- Brown (e.g., potato)
Many people are concerned about the impact of consuming too much saturated fat on their health. Although a small portion of fruits and vegetables may reduce LDL cholesterol, there is no clear evidence that fruits and vegetables prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may improve a person’s health by increasing his/her nutrient intake. The US Department of Agriculture suggests that a healthy diet should comprise: The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests that a serving of fruits and vegetables per day is the minimum amount needed to meet a person’s daily requirement for nutrients.
This includes all three Major Food Groups
- And one non-food group, which consist of vegetable oils, processed meats and other foods with added fats, vitamins and supplements
Consuming this minimum amount of fruits and vegetables provides the majority of the nutritional value necessary to maintain a healthy weight and to remain healthy. Some of the minor non-nutritional components that are included in the diet can also provide additional benefit.
For example, fresh fruits and vegetables may contain significant amounts of vitamin K, which helps prevent bone diseases and certain cancers of the digestive system. The US Department of Health also recommends that adults (age 19 and above) should consume six servings of fruits and vegetables per day, including at least one fresh fruits and one vitamin from a group all designated as a major food.
For children, the recommended daily consumption of fruits and vegetables is five servings per day, including one fresh fruit and two glasses of fruit juice or vegetable dressing. Vitamin K alone is the most important vitamin in fruits and vegetables.
Other important fruits and vegetables you can be consuming daily include
- Sweet potato
- Pinto bean
- Kiwi fruit
Although most fruits and vegetables contain similar amounts of vitamins, there can be considerable variation between various types and varieties of fruits and vegetables. Some varieties of fruits and vegetables contain more vitamins A, C and E than other varieties. One good way to assess the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is to read the labels on the produce.
The US dietary guidelines recommend that individuals under the age of 20 should eat at least one serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Fruit juices are considered healthy but not pure fruit because they may contain added sugars and other additives that make the fruit less nutritious.
Fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of nutrients, which makes them an excellent addition to a well-balanced diet. To get the most out of your fruits and vegetables, it is best to add them to your diet at least once per week. As you get used to eating fruits and vegetables, you will find it easier to incorporate them into your diet.
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