The more I learn about health and wellness the more I learn about the power of fruits and vegetables. If I had only one piece of advice to give it would be to include as many fruits and vegetables into your diet as you can. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, people who average eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Individuals who ate five servings or more per day have a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, participants with high blood pressure were placed on a diet that was high in fruits and vegetables with low-fat dairy products and low saturated and total fat. Participants were found to have lowered their blood pressure by an overall total of 17 points. They also found an association between vegetarianism and low blood pressure. Further studies prove that increased consumption of tomato-based foods and other lycopene containing foods may reduce prostate cancer. Foods that contain lycopene are brightly colored fruits and vegetables. These may also protect against lung, mouth, and throat cancer. There is also a correlation between increased fruit and vegetable consumption and a decrease in diabetes. Eating fruits and vegetables also contributes to eye health and helps prevent two common eye diseases – cataracts and macular degeneration.
Luckily you can find fruits or vegetables at all truck stops and gas stations. You can stock up and fill your fridge or cooler with fruits and vegetables from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart. Keep them near you when you’re driving so you’re more likely to snack on those rather than the less healthy options!
All fruits and vegetables provide benefits but some of the most beneficial are:
- Leafy Greens such as Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Watercress or Romaine
- Cruciferous Vegetables such as Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Arugula, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Cauliflower or Collard Greens
- Citrus Fruits such as Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes, Tangerines, Oranges, or Kumquats
Ciara Toves – Wellness Coach