Your Healthy Lifestyle Includes More Fruits and Vegetables
Everyone agrees on the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables, but not enough people are following this important advice. Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest changes you can make to increase your level of health, lose weight and gain fitness.
No matter what your reason for pursuing a healthier diet, eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to enjoy a delicious varied diet while enjoying greater levels of health.
Everyone knows the importance of a healthy diet to a healthy body, and fruits and vegetables are rich in the vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other micronutrients that make a diet healthy.
In addition to all these advantages, fruits and vegetables are colorful, easy to use, abundant and inexpensive. Fruits and vegetables are great in soups, salads, as side dishes and as main courses. There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables, and so many different ways to use them, that it is almost impossible to get bored with them.
One reason for the recommendation that everyone increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables is that many of these foods have been shown to have strong antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants are important to good health due to their ability to bind with and neutralize harmful elements called free radicals. These free radicals are thought to play a role in cancer, aging related illnesses and other conditions.
Normally, free radicals are neutralized automatically as part of the body's natural processes. However, when the immune system has been weakened, or if you are just feeling run down, these antioxidant fighters may not be working at peak efficiency. Many fruits and vegetables have high amounts of many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Since there are so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, it is important to choose the best ones for your diet. Of courses, the perfect fruits and vegetables for you are the ones you like the best. After all, you will have a hard time taking advantage of all that nutrition unless you actually eat the fruits and vegetables you buy.
Getting the most fruits and vegetables for your limited food budget is an important consideration for most people. Fruits and vegetables are usually plentiful and inexpensive, but in some cases they can be somewhat pricey, especially in the winter months when most fruits and vegetables must be shipped long distances.
In addition to the supermarket and local grocery store, farmers markets can be places to find the freshest fruits and vegetables at the lowest possible prices. Farmers markets and roadside produce stands are often excellent sources of fresh, high quality fruits and vegetables.
Even when there is no farmers market nearby, it is still possible to get great, high quality fruits and vegetables at some excellent prices, simply by buying those fruits and vegetables as they come into season. Buying in season fruits and vegetables is usually cheaper than buying produce that comes from far away, and locally grown produce is often fresher and more nutritious as well.
Many people recommend buying a variety of colors when shopping for fruits and vegetables, and not just because they look good on the plate together. Different colored fruits and vegetables have different nutritional qualities, so eating a wide variety of colors will give you the best selection of flavors, textures, tastes and nutrients.
Cooking vegetables properly is important as well, since overcooking can destroy some of the nutritional value of many vegetables. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly vulnerable to nutrient loss due to overcooking.
It is best to lightly steam vegetables in the microwave on the top of the stove. When steaming vegetables for maximum nutrition, it is important to use as little water as possible. Use only enough water to keep the vegetable from burning, and remove them from the heat source as soon as possible.
No matter what your reason for following a healthy diet, we believe you will find that eating more fruits and vegetables is a delicious, as well as a nutritious, way to get the vitamins and minerals you need every day.
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