Everywhere around us, the food that we take in is steadily becoming farther detached from the lap of Mother Nature. The shelves in grocery stores are replete in processed foods that are high on artificial flavors, preservatives, and various other additives, names of which are too difficult to even pronounce.
On those not-so-rare occasions when we decide to skip grocery shopping, we indulge in fries and a cheeseburger gratefully handed down through the car window.
Have you ever wondered how such an imbalanced diet affects our health? Think deep and you will feel troubled by the thoughts! Over the last few decades, there has been a considerable increase in metabolic conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. The root cause of it all? Our improper, unbalanced diet regime.
Adding more fruits and vegetables is the way forward
It is probably safe to assume that the readers do not want to find themselves as part of this unpleasant statistics. If so, now would be a good time to align your diet with what is best prescribed by nature by adding more veggies and fruits into your diet plan. Here is a look at some of the reasons that support this great idea.
They are great as sources of minerals and vitamins:
A better source than veggies and fruits is hard to find. These are rich in folic acid, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium, while also having a rich content of vitamins, E, C, and A. Avocados are rich in potassium which maintains proper functioning of the body. This rich content can also be found in tomato paste puree, bananas, and sweet potato.
Variety in textures and flavors:
Fruits and vegetables have lots of flavors which are unique and fewer, giving you plenty to get creative within the kitchen. While the likes of peppers, olives, and onions give strong flavors, corn and mushroom are better for milder flavors. Grapefruits and lemons are sour, but you can sweeten things up with plums, grapes, and pineapples.
Rich fiber content:
Most of the vegetables and fruits have a rich fiber content that gives you a feeling of being full and improve gut health. Cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, and artichokes are rich in fiber among vegetables while pumpkin, apples, raspberries, and pears are high-fiber fruits.
Low in fat and calorie count:
Vegetables and fruits have an average fat and calorie count that is low, allowing you to consume them in greater amounts to stay full longer without the worry of becoming fat or putting on the extra calories.
Half a cup of grapes has 200 fewer calories compared to a quarter cup of M&Ms. The likes of coconuts, olives, and avocados, however, form exceptions to this rule.
Keeps you protected against diseases such as cancer:
Several of the fruits and vegetables have phytochemicals. These are biologically active substances and play an important role in giving protection against certain diseases.
Adding these into the diet significantly cuts down on the risks of cancer, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Watercress, collards, cabbage, broccoli, and other similar cruciferous veggies are known to reduce the risks of cancer significantly.
Helps maintain your good health in general:
Thanks to a low content of sugar, salt, and saturated fat, veggies and fruits can come in handy if you are planning to devise a well-balanced diet. It can even help prevent weight gain or aid in weight loss. They are also known to reduce blood pressure, lower levels of cholesterol, and reduce inflammation in the body.
Low content of cholesterol and sodium:
Fresh vegetables and fruits contain sodium only in trace amounts. It is a common belief that sodium content is high in celery when, in reality, every stock contains only a paltry 30mg. This is just about 1 percent of the daily intake recommended. Vegetables and fruits do not have any cholesterol content whatsoever. In recent times the trend to hire a private cook in NYC has increased a lot, as many people are getting conscious about the amount of sodium and cholesterol in their diets. A private cook can prepare delicious smoothies and a variety of fruit and vegetable salads for your daily or occasional meal preps.
The form does not matter, and they are all nutritious:
You may be someone who loves to dig into some fresh fruits and vegetables at any point on a given day. Whether you take this through dehydrated products, in canned form or in frozen form, as far as the nutritional aspects are concerned there is little to no difference to take into consideration.
Most of the canned and frozen products get processed within hours of them being harvested which helps to lock in the nutritional value.
Easy to prepare, a quick and convenient meal:
Most of the vegetables and fruits do not require any packaging, unlike the crackers or granola bars. Hence, it is easier to grab an apple or a banana while heading out on some important business or for some leisurely activity.
They help you prepare awesome smoothies:
Have a blender at home? Get hold of some ice and fruits, and before long you will be whipping up delicious smoothies for yourself with the help of the flavors that you consider to be the yummiest and tastiest of the lot.
Here is a tip that is worth remembering – while making a smoothie, any smoothie, add a generous quantity of spinach. It is only when you cook spinach that the distasteful side of this vegetable comes to the fore. Not even your kids will succeed in pointing out the difference!
In children, the stomach is of a smaller capacity. While they have higher energy needs, they are unable to eat the same portions as adults.
Nevertheless, you should encourage them to have more veggies and fruits with their meals. Only when they eat well will your children get the kind of energy that they require for playing, working, learning, and developing in all other aspects of mental as well as physical development.
When good habits get built up in the early years, their benefits seemingly last long into adulthood. You may be required to exhibit some amount of creativity to include more amounts of fruits and vegetables into the diet, but it is important that you keep an open mind about trying out new diet plans to make the switch to a healthier alternative worthwhile.