September is Fruit & Vegetable Month

The risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer can be lowered by eating a healthy balanced diet. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can have many other health benefits like preventing obesity, macular degeneration, and high blood pressure. For this reason, the National Fruit and Vegetable Program was launched as a new public health initiative in March, 2007, and named Fruits and Vegetables – More Matters.

Fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day, and fewer than 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. The recommended amounts are two to six and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

It is also essential to get a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables because colorful fruits and vegetables provide the range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals (plant fibers) that your body needs to protect against the effects of aging and the risk of cancer and heart disease. It is important to sample the complete color spectrum every day to receive the health benefits from the fruits and vegetables.

Here is a break-down of the colors and their benefits:

Blue/purple: These lower the risk of some cancers and urinary tract health. They aid memory function and healthy aging.  Some of the fruit and vegetables in this category are blackberries, blueberries, black currants, dried plums, elderberries, purple figs, purple grapes, plums, raisins, purple asparagus, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple Belgian endive, purple peppers and purple-fleshed potatoes.

Green: These vegetables aid in low-fat diets.  They contain lutein and indoles which researchers like because of their antioxidant, health-promoting benefits.  They can aid in lowering your risk of some cancers, aid in vision health and strong bones and teeth. Some examples are avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, limes, green pears, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoflower, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, green beans, green cabbage, celery, Chayote squash, cucumbers, endive, leafy greens, leeks, lettuce, green onion, okra, peas, green pepper, sugar snap peas, spinach, watercress, and zucchini.

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and help to maintain and healthy immune system and lower the risk of some cancers.  Some of these fruits and vegetables are yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, yellow figs, grapefruit, golden kiwifruit, lemon, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, yellow pears, persimmons, pineapples, tangerines, yellow watermelon, yellow beets, butternut squash, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow potatoes, pumpkin, rutabagas, yellow summer squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, yellow tomatoes, and yellow winter squash.

The red group of fruits and vegetables help to maintain a healthy heart, memory function, a lower risk of some cancers, and urinary tract health. Some examples are: red apples, blood oranges, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, pink/red grapefruit, red pears, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, beets, red peppers, radishes, radicchio, red onions, red potatoes, rhubarb, and tomatoes.

As you can see the choices of colorful fruits and vegetables are enormous.  So, celebrate this month by putting a rainbow on your plate at all of your meals.  To get more information about nutrition and healthy aging, contact The Kabb Law Firm: 216-991-KABB (5222).