Are You Getting the Maximum Benefit From Your Fruits and Veggies?
Living a happy and healthy lifestyle varies from one person to another. But for everyone, having a balanced diet is one of the key factors that contribute to your overall health. Nutrients matter, and the best way to make sure you’re getting them is to eat enough fruits and vegetables because they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and fiber, that will help you stay healthy so you can enjoy living a full and long life.
It easy to appreciate the value of feeling good. But did you know there are ways to actually boost the benefits of the foods you eat?
Energy is vital to everyone, especially those who have a busy life. (Don’t we all?) Fruits and vegetables are sources of energy that work with your body naturally. Of course, we always suggest organic fruits and vegetables to avoid putting toxic chemicals into your body that can disrupt everything from hormones to your immune system and digestive system and more. Here are some great go-to’s when you need a little boost.
Banana, Watermelon, Grapes – All of these will boost your energy because they are fairly high in sugar. That sugar will give you quick fuel to burn. The only thing you have to watch out for is that they are high glycemic fruits, which means the sugar doesn’t metabolize as well as low glycemic sugars. It is natural sugar, so that’s great, but you want to eat them in moderation.
Beets, Carrots – Though these are in fact vegetables, that are also high in sugar, which makes them a great wholesome choice for a quick pick-me-up, but again, it’s a lot of sugar compared to other vegetables.
Sweet Potato – Close to a perfect good, sweet potatoes are a complex carb which means they digest slower than simple carbs, and therefore, provide a steady supply of energy.
In addition to energy, natural sugars and complex carbs are wonderful whole foods that provide lots of great fiber and nutrition. But, ideally, you need to have it with a little protein, and some fat. So put some almond or peanut butter on your fruit. Or, compliment your veggies with some cheese or a handful of nuts. The point being, you want to balance your sugar intake to help your body process the sugar and/or starch efficiently.
Protection Against Diseases
Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, which are antioxidants that help fight against diseases and protect your body from oxidative stress. Including them as part of your healthy diet reduces the risk of many forms of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
As mentioned above, fruits and vegetables are whole foods, most of which are low in calories and high in fiber. That means controlling your weight is easier when your body is getting the nutrients it needs from foods rich in vitamins and minerals, plus they help you feel full and satisfied which means you’ll eat less.
I was taught to picture a plate. Then make sure, at every meal, you have a protein, a fat, a carb and a veggie. Remember though, sometimes the veggie counts as a carb. Oh, and do organic as much as is humanly possilbe. Here is a very helpful list from Environmental Working Group to help you make the best choices as some produce is more laden with pesticides than others.
Healthy Living Is Happy Living
Feeling good is vital to your everyday life. But health is not just about eating fruits and vegetables. Yes, a sensible diet that contains a variety of real, unadulterated foods is key. But a healthy lifestyle is about getting enough rest, plenty of exercise, surrounding yourself with positive, warm, loving people and doing things you enjoy.
In good health!
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