We used to say 5 a day. Since last year, the Centres for Disease Control has said at least 7 a day! You know you are supposed to eat more fruits and vegetables. But which kinds?
Fruits and Vegetables are all-stars. Not only are they low in calories and high in fiber, they contains unique phytochemicals, or antioxidants, that boost your health. It’s important to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day to reap the health benefits. That’s because each color contains different sets of phytochemicals that provide different health benefits.
Super Fruits and Vegetables to Add to Your Diet
- Pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon
- Lycopene shows promise in fighting lung and prostate cancers. Lycopene is actually more available after cooking or processing so don’t ignore canned tomato paste!
- Concord grapes, blueberries and prunes
- The anthocyanins that give these fruits their distinctive colors may help ward off heart disease by preventing clot formation. They may also help lower risk of cancer.
- Spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and bok choy
- Lutein appears to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as guard against age-related macular degeneration. Dark green leafy vegetables are usually high in folate, a B vitamin that shows promising results in preventing heart diseases. In addition, Sulforaphane, a phytochemical present in cruciferous vegetables, was found to detoxify cancer-causing chemicals before they do damage the body.
- Carrots, mango, pumpkin and oranges
- The beta carotenes in these orange super fruits and vegetables may prevent cancer, particularly of the lung, esophagus and stomach. They may also reduce risk of heart disease and improve immune function.
- Cauliflower, mushrooms, banana and onions
- These contain anthoxanthins and allicin, which can help lower blood pressure and protect against stomach cancer.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.