Some of our earliest memories of food come from those older and wiser than us demanding that we eat our broccoli or grab something from the fruit bowl.
As we get older, it’s easy to forget these good habits. After all, why exactly do we need to eat our fruits and vegetables? Our registered dietitian nutritionist, Jamilah Bugayong, filled us in on some of the top reasons why we should keep filling up our plates.
Eating a Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables Reduces Your Chance of Chronic Disease
Several studies have shown that a diet with more representation from these healthy food groups can lead to fewer cardiovascular problems over the course of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even lists a healthy diet as one of the best ways to defend against heart disease.
Some Vegetables and Fruits Are High in Fiber, Meaning They Can Help Prevent Type II Diabetes
“High-fiber foods are very important for a healthy lifestyle,” Bugayong said. “They not only help prevent and manage type II diabetes, but they also are some of your best defenses against obesity and even cancer.”
Fruits and Vegetables Tend to Have Fewer Calories Per Cup Than Other Foods
Crafting a lower-calorie diet plan can be challenging.
“Many people assume that a healthier diet always means eating less,” Bugayong said. “It’s often possible to satisfy all of your cravings with healthier alternatives.”
And, if you’re someone who could become pregnant:
Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Can Lead to a Healthier Pregnancy
Many fruits and vegetables contain folate (folic acid), which helps the body form red blood cells. Women who could become pregnant should pay attention to the amount of folate they take in, to help reduce the chance of several birth defects.
For more information, check out these articles on the importance of fruits and vegetables from the United States Department of Agriculture. Looking for more help creating a more nutrient-rich diet plan that works for you? Jamilah Bugayong is now taking appointments. Call 301-609-5044 or visit us online to find out more.