“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.” 

 ~Meryl Streep

“Simple Nutrition: Part 3”

 

Vegetables are the best source of micronutrients.

Most fruits and vegetables have very high nutrient density and low caloric density.  For every calorie contained in a fruit or vegetable, your body receives an abundance of nutrients, which are important for normal growth and development, metabolic function, and a strong immune system.

Breads, grains, and cereals are calorically dense and provide only a small, and relatively insignificant, amount of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.  This only contributes to our population’s declining health because most of our carbohydrate consumption comes from grains.  when we look back at our Paleolithic ancestors, it’s obvious that we were meant to consume most of our carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables.

     One important thing about fruits and vegetables is that they contain phytochemicals and antioxidants.  These differ from vitamins and minerals in that there is no deficiency reached by not consuming these chemicals, but they do provide additional benefits ranging from Reducing the risk of cancer to enhancing sports performance.  Some studies suggest that high amounts of antioxidants may also cure and reverse “diseases of civilization.”

     Phytochemicals contribute to pigmentation of plants, so try not to consume the same fruits and vegetables every day.  Mix up the colors and you’ll get the maximum benefit from these foods.  Generally speaking, the darker or more pronounced the color is the higher the concentration of nutrients in that fruit or vegetable.

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Red Fruits and Vegetables

Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few.  These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support joint tissue inarthritis cases.

Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables

Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, andvitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macular degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work withmagnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

Green vegetables and Fruit

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables

Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune systemactivity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as anticarcinogens in the Digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.


White fruits and vegetables

Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and Prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.