In collaboration with Susan Howell, Registered Dietitian
To protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and help boost immunity – veggies and fruits provide antioxidants – substances that protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Some health issues related to free radical damage include heart disease, macular degeneration, cognitive impairment and cancer. Antioxidants may also enhance immunity, thus lowering the risk of infections.
Weight Loss And Waist Circumference – Veggies and fruits are a good source of fibre and fluid which are factors in promoting satiety. Most veggies are low in calories, so fill ½ of your plate with 2 different veggies and include them as healthy snacks.
Triglycerides– With more vegetables in your diet, there is less room for large portions of starch and animal proteins. This translates to appropriate portions of carbohydrate and fat, nutrients that in excess, can increase triglycerides and potentially suppress HDL.
Blood Pressure– Veggies and fruits contain key minerals such as potassium to help regulate blood pressure. Potassium-rich produce include: Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, beets, spinach, brussel sprouts, banana, cantaloupe, oranges, and kiwis.
Cholesterol– Many veggies and fruits have soluble fibre that can help lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Those higher in soluble fibre include: artichokes, green peas, broccoli, carrots, onions, green and yellow beans, pears, oranges, apricots.
Blood Sugar And Cravings– High fibre diets help manage blood sugars, which also helps to control cravings and stave off hunger. A diet high in veggies and fruits (8-10 servings/day) is a great way to boost your fibre intake. 1 serving looks like: ½ cup of cut-up veggies or fruits, 1 medium-size piece of fruit, or 1 cup of leafy greens. Fruit juice is concentrated in sugar, so try to limit portions to no more than ½ cup 2 times a day.
Are you interested in learning more dietitian-approved tips? Check out Copeman’s definitive guide to