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Ten Reasons To Eat More Veggies And Fruits

This year, don't resolve just to lose weight, but to eat more: more fruits and veggies that is.† Why?† The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests ten good reasons.†† First on their list is cancer prevention.

Eating five servings each day could prevent up to one in five cancers.† How?† Fruits and veggies have antioxidants which protect healthy cells.† Eating 5 a day instead of junk food leads to reason number 2: to keep trim. Many vegetables have 50 calories in a whole cup, the same amount as five potato chips or one small cookie.

Reason #3:† Prevent heart disease. If you eat more fruits & veggies instead of meat and dairy, you can limit heart-damaging saturated fat and cholesterol. The natural chemicals in these foods also help prevent fatty deposits from forming in blood vessels. Vegetables and fruits have soluble fiber, to help lower blood cholesterol and folate, a vitamin that lowers blood levels of homocysteine, another risk factor for heart disease.

Fruits and veggies can also reduce heart disease with benefit #4: they lower blood pressure.† This is also related to benefit number 5: to prevent stroke. . .by up to 25 percent!

Reason #6 is for eye protection. Eating more fruits and veggies may lower your risk for the most common causes of adult blindness: cataracts and macular degeneration.

Reason number 7 is to avoid diverticulosis. One-third of people over 50 and two-thirds of those over 80 have this disorder.† It starts when intestinal pressure creates small pouches in the intestinal wall, which then become inflamed and painful. The best defense against developing diverticulosis is a high-fiber diet.

Reason 8:† Fruits and vegetables may also help control diabetes since they seem to raise blood sugar less than other carbohydrates, while their fiber content slows sugar absorption.

Reason 9:† Fruits and vegetables can also satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. When you eat fruit instead of candy, you get an added energy boost from nutrition that works for you-instead of just "empty calories" that work against you.

Reason #10:† Because they just taste great.

Created: 1/7/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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