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Fruits and Vegetables: Health and Nutrition Information

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  • Synopsis: Last Updated: 2017-02-24 - Information on adding healthy fruits and vegetables to the diet for optimal fitness and health

Definition: Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits Definition - Botanically speaking, fruits are fleshy reproductive organs of plants, the ripened ovaries containing one or many seeds, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, juniper berries and bananas.

Vegetable Definition - Generally speaking, a herbaceous plant or plant part which is regularly eaten as unsweetened or salted food by humans is considered to be a vegetable.

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Most people should add at least nine servings (41/2 cups) of vegetables and fruits a day, excluding potatoes. Go for color and variety - dark green, white, yellow, orange, and red, (Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables), to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs.

Start adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet and reap the benefits.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits helps lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and adds a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep your appetite in check.

If you are not eating fresh fruit on a daily basis, you should be as fresh fruit is very important in the diet. Fruits are low in calories, full of fiber, and packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fruit is full of water and has no bad cholesterol. Fruit is considered a healing food, that helps your body fight diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

Some vegetables can be consumed raw, some may be eaten raw or cooked, and some must be cooked in order to be edible. Vegetables are most often cooked in savory or salty dishes. However, a few vegetables are often used in desserts and other sweet dishes, such as rhubarb pie and carrot cake.

Vegetables are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals and as snacks.

The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably, though generally they contain little protein or fat, and varying proportions of vitamins, provitamins, dietary minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. Vegetables contain a great variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have been claimed to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.

Fruits and Veggies by Color:

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.

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.

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 system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anti-carcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.

Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables

Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula 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 with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

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 join tissue in arthritis cases.

See our full article including a color chart of fruit and vegetables.

Quick Facts: Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition

  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
  • Fruits compose of many anti-oxidants such as poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins.
  • Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans.
  • Consumption of some dry fruits daily enhances the overall bioavailability of nutrients.
  • Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  • Research studies suggest that one may eat any servings of fruits daily. It is recommended to eat at least 2-3 servings of fresh fruits every day.
  • Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.
  • People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.
  • Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol. (Sauces or seasonings may add fat, calories, or cholesterol.)
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and with only 45 calories per serving, add abundant flavor to a wide variety of food.
  • Vegetables, like fruits, are low in calories and fats but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  • Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.
  • As in fruits, vegetables too are home for many antioxidants.
  • Eating foods such as fruits that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
  • Fruit's health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, pigment anti-oxidants.
  • Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.
  • Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day.


Latest Fruits and Vegetables Publications

  1. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Help Achieve Nutrition Goals
  2. Consuming Up To 10 Portions of Fruit and Vegetables a Day May Prevent Premature Death
  3. Kidney Patients Medicine Expenses Cut by Eating More Fruit and Vegetables
  4. Leafy Greens Key to Gut Health
  5. Fruit Pectin for Arthritis Pain & Inflammation


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