5 Surprising Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Happy Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month! We know it’s that time of year again where everyone is getting adjusted to new routines, commitments, and lifestyles, but the task we have for you is an easy one to tackle. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Did you know that around 90% of adults and children don’t get the recommended number of servings? Whether you’re a busy CEO, an exhausted college student, or anywhere in between, these five shocking benefits of fruits and vegetables will help inspire you to add more to your diet and live a healthier lifestyle.
When most people think of broccoli, they typically don’t associate it with protein, but did you know a cup of broccoli contains 2.6g? That may not seem like much, but think of it this way---if you eat 2 cups per day you’re getting 10% of your protein intake but without the calories of meat or beans. Broccoli is roughly 5 calories per gram of protein, whereas black beans are around 20 calories per gram. For the average woman whose recommended protein intake is 46 grams, that is a 700 calorie difference; a whole meals worth!
Lemon is not only a refreshing source of Vitamin C, it also aids in weight loss! Lemons have diuretic and laxative properties, meaning they help to naturally cleanse your system when added with warm water. This also helps with bloating. Lemons are naturally sodium-free, and are very low on the FODMAP (carbs that the body has a difficult time digesting and absorbing) spectrum, and can actually counteract the sodium from high FODMAP foods.
Oranges, Grapefruits, Pineapple
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which we know is essential for a strong, healthy immune system. Vitamin C is fantastic for the inside of our bodies, but what about the outside appearance? Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis, vital for young, healthy-looking skin. Do you know what condition comes from a lack of collagen synthesis? Brace yourself… scurvy. That’s not to say that you’ll get scurvy from a lack of citrus intake, but if you’re looking for a clear, glowing, youthful complexion, it may be worth adding a little extra fruit in your diet.
Spinach and Kale
Rich in Vitamin K, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables have the power to actually relax your body. These particular vegetables are high in folate, which is a chemical that produces and regulates dopamine. This is the hormone responsible for improving mood, sleeping patterns (along with magnesium from spinach), and the body’s reaction to stress.
Apples and Celery
Have you ever heard of nature’s toothbrush? Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery, are rich in fiber found in their flesh, so they essentially scrub away stains and plaque on your teeth and gums. Not only do they contain a scrubbing property, but the mild acidity in apples can even brighten your teeth! Keep in mind that these foods don’t necessarily replace a toothbrush, but the extra cleansing could definitely work some wonders for a bright smile!
Whether you’re looking for a bright smile and skin or some relaxation, look no further than your own grocery store! Fruits and vegetables have what you need for (almost) all your health concerns.
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