Most people do not set out to eat an unhealthy diet, but somehow, many people still end up with unhealthy eating habits. Maybe it has to do with not having enough time, or perhaps it just isn’t the top priority when balanced against work, school, and all of the things life throws at you on a daily basis. However, adding fruit and vegetables to your diet is actually super easy to do and can have an incredible number of benefits in almost all areas of your life. Are you ready to take on better nutrition for good health?
For a proper and balanced diet, you need to eat five servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day. This gives your body the antioxidants and vitamins it needs to function at 100%.
Why Are Fruits and Vegetables So Important in Your Diet?
There are more than 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body needs to nourish, replenish and repair itself that it can not produce on its own. Eating fruits and vegetables is how your body gets essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that it needs to perform all of the tasks in your daily life. These nutrients aid the body in:
- Building bones and tissue
- Healing wounds
- Cellular repair
- Boosting the immune system
- Converting food to energy
And much more.
Let’s take a look at how each of these essential nutrients help your body stay functioning and healthy.
Vitamins are called micronutrients. This is because while your body may not need a massive quantity of them to survive, without them the function of your body’s systems will suffer and you will become susceptible to diseases such as scurvy, blindness and rickets. Meanwhile, the opposite is also true. When you get the right vitamins, you will see benefits like healthy bones, strong teeth and prevention of birth defects.
The body also needs minerals. Minerals are non-organic structures that help the body with things like maintaining the proper balance of water, maintaining strong bones and stabilizing protein structures. Minerals include things such as calcium, sulfur, sodium and magnesium.
It is important to note that taking supplements under medical supervision can be a good thing, but it is something that you must be cautious about. Taking too much of some supplements can cause an overload in one type of mineral and deficiency in another. This rarely if ever happens when ingesting minerals in foods, but is almost always caused by the unregulated taking of supplements.
Antioxidants are specific compounds that stop a chemical reaction called oxidation. When oxidation happens, the process causes particles called free radicals to be released. Free radicals are like nature’s own terrorists. They damage your body’s cells and can leave you susceptible to diseases like heart disease and different types of cancer.
Antioxidants work within your body to find and stop free radicals. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables as well as some other foods such as nuts, wholegrains and some types of fish. Some researchers believe antioxidants can be taken in the form of supplements, but others think they are not as effective when taken in supplements.
How Many Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Per Day Do I Need?
According to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should be getting five servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day. That might sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. A single serving of fruit can be a medium apple or two small plums or a cup of cut fruit. A single serving of vegetables could be a cup of leafy veggies such as spinach, a half cup of corn or one whole piece, such as a carrot.
How to Eat More Fruit & Vegetables
If you want to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but you just don’t know where to start, here are some great ways to add a few more in your diet and add some fresh nutrition for better health:
- Put veggies and fruit where you can see them: Whether you make a nice display on your kitchen counter, decorate your coffee table with a fruit bowl or just move all the fruit and veggies to the front of your fridge, if you see them first, you are more likely to eat them.
- Replace your potatoes: Many people get stuck in a rut with white potatoes. Switch those out for vegetables of a different color. Try adding red, yellow or orange fruits and vegetables or green leafy vegetables instead.
- Try something new: Look at the produce section with fresh eyes. Try a new variety of fruit or vegetable that you have never had before. Another good option is to try a new recipe. Pick something with lots of vegetables and give it a try, you might just love it!
Don’t Forget About Nutrition
Nutrition is one of the basics of a healthy lifestyle. It is so easy to overlook it’s value in the rush of a hectic daily life, but the performance benefits you will see from it will have you sold. Try focusing on improving nutrition and see how much of a difference it will make to how you feel! Focusing on nutrition for better health will also help you when it comes to getting help with your chiropractic care. Give us a call and we can discuss all of your chiropractic options and give you some tips on nutrition for good health.