Fruits and Veggies


Eating a healthy diet is just as important as getting routine check-ups with your doctor. Organic fresh fruits and vegetables are powerhouses full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and health benefits. Eating a variety of colors is not only appealing to the eye; the rainbow reflects a range of nutritional compositions.

It’s amazing what perfect packages nature has made in fruits and vegetables. They’re not just tasty, but help promote and maintain our good health. Enjoy longevity and steady energy through a well-balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables; eat all the colors of the rainbow to enjoy the wide variety of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that your body needs. You may be surprised at the benefits of even the most common fruits and vegetables!

Trying to add some flavor and health to your meals? Here are some great options that are nutrient-dense and tasty:

Cucumbers are a powerful ally when it comes to healthy food choices. Feeling parched? Cucumbers are 95% water, with the rest a powerful mixture of minerals and healing compounds. Use slices of cucumber as you would use aloe for skin abrasions, burns, or to reduce inflammation. The silica, magnesium, and potassium they contain are ideal for strengthening and smoothing both the hair and skin. Cucumbers are also excellent for stabilizing blood pressure. A compound called sterols helps reduce cholesterol, while the magnesium, potassium, and fiber can help stabilize either high or low blood pressure. There is also a hormone in cucumbers required by the pancreas to properly regulate insulin levels – particularly beneficial for diabetics. Silica is an important factor in promoting joint health by strengthening connective tissues, and cucumber is a good source for your silica needs.

Onions have been a wide-ranging remedy in many traditional medicines for a very long time. Uses include treating asthma, bacterial infections, coughing, and colds. Their pungent smell is caused by their high levels of sulfur, which on the positive side promotes cardiovascular health through its anti-clotting characteristics. In Ayurvedic Medicine (one of the world’s oldest holistic medical systems, developed in India over 3000 years ago), onions are sliced and wrapped in cloth as a poultice used on areas of inflammation, or on the chest and feet to cure colds, coughs, and fevers. Including an ample supply of onions in your diet helps your body build up bone density and joint health. Forming connective tissues requires sulfur, which onions can amply supply.

Grapefruit’s health benefits are often underestimated. Kidney stones are mostly a build-up of calcium; eating grapefruit or drinking its juice will help prevent them. The high levels of Vitamin C in grapefruit can help prevent sun damage, wrinkles, and improve overall skin condition. Vitamin C also helps create collagen, the main support system of the skin, and minimizes the loss of hyaluronic acid, which the skin needs to retain moisture and elasticity. Grapefruit is a wonderful liver cleanser, as it promotes the removal of toxins from the body. Known to increase your metabolism, grapefruit also can assist with weight loss or maintenance.

Tomatoes have a large profile of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, B vitamins, iron, folate, magnesium, choline, potassium, and zinc. They help improve the function of the digestive system and particularly help prevent constipation, especially when juiced along with spinach. Tomatoes have a rich supply of the phytonutrients lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin which support vision health. Including tomatoes in your daily diet can increase the amount of vitamin C in the blood, which strengthens the immune system and inhibits the release of stress hormones. Other phytonutrients in tomatoes help prevent blood from over-clotting, helping improve heart health.

Broccoli contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too.When it comes to great-tasting nutrition, broccoli is an all-star food with many health benefits. While low in calories, broccoli is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber. It is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin K is essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting. When cooking a cup of broccoli, it offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is a good source of beta-carotene. Vitamin C helps to build collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals. Broccoli is high in fiber which helps promote digestive health. A high fiber intake can also help lower cholesterol. Broccoli has a rich supply of potassium that is a mineral and electrolyte that is essential for the function of nerves and heart contraction. Broccoli also has folate which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body.

Spinach is also a great source of vitamins A and K and a good source of folate. Vitamin A performs essential functions in normal vision, and deficiency leads to a condition called “night blindness,” in which the eye fails to adapt to less light. Vitamin A is also involved in regulation of gene expression, production of red blood cells, and normal functioning of the immune system. Folate helps enzymes involved in metabolism to function. Vitamin K is essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting.

Apples are a good example of a complete healthy fruit; it helps in digestion, strengthens bones, provides relief from asthma, lowers blood cholesterol, prevents cancer and helps in reducing weight. The long list of health benefits attributed to apples is due to the wealth of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic compounds that are found in them. These important nutritional elements include vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and riboflavin, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Apples are also very good sources of dietary fiber, and a single serving provides 12% of the daily fiber requirement.

Pears are a good source of fiber, vitamin C,vitamin B2,vitamin E, copper and potassium. Pears are an excellent source of pectin and fiber that effectively lowers cholesterol levels. It is mostly prescribed for infants as it is believed to be a hypoallergenic fruit that is completely safe for young children to ingest.

Grapes are also a common fruit that can be easily included in your regular diet. Grapes alleviate indigestion, constipation, fatigue, kidney disorders and eye problems. It is rich in several vitamins and also possesses minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. The health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration and the prevention of cataracts. Grapes are a wonderful source of micro-nutrients like copper, iron, and manganese, all of which are important in the formation and strength of the bones. Adding grapes into your diet on a regular basis can prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. Manganese is an extremely important element in the body, which aids in everything from protein metabolism, collagen formation, and nervous system functioning.

Blueberries, Cherries, and Blackberries prevent cancer and keep your heart protected. If you include cherries or cherry juice in your diet, you can eliminate the associated pain from arthritis, gout and joint inflammation. Berries have the capability of curing arthritis naturally. Blueberries with high silicon content aid in the functioning of the pancreas and is good for diabetic conditions. Blackberries can naturally control diarrhea and form new blood cells, but it can also have the adverse reaction of promoting constipation. If you mix blackberries with cherries or prune juice, it will not eliminate that constipation. High sodium and potassium content in gooseberries and huckleberries protect the liver and the intestinal tract.

Zucchini provides relief from asthma. Owing to its Vitamin C content, it is a powerful antioxidant, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Zucchini is mostly known and widely used for weight loss. It is an outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, zucchini is the best source of dietary fiber that will keep your body in the best shape for the long run. It also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus . This summer squash also has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein. Moreover, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, and calcium in zucchini assure optimal health. Zucchini is probably the best example of squash that has such a rich array of nutrients, including sugar, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, minerals, amino acids and more. The folate ingredient of zucchini is highly commendable for pregnant women as well.

Mangoes and Papayas are rich in beta carotene. Papayas act as powerful antioxidants with an abundance of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamin A that all aid in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This prevents the formation of dangerous plaque that can result in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, or strokes. You get good amounts of vitamin C from papayas, oranges, guavas and Indian gooseberries.

Citrus Fruits are rich in vitamin-C like oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits are excellent for your overall health.  Oranges are consumed widely for healthy skin, teeth, gums, and to keep the lymphatic system healthy. Lemon, the bitter yellow fruit, has been used for for vision issues for thousands of years and it also treats disorders ranging from common colds to epilepsy. Lemon juice helps people lose weight as well. Grapefruit lowers cholesterol and has antioxidant properties. Limes help prevent disorders like scurvy, piles, and gout, as well as respiratory and urinary disorders.

Asparagus is a nutrient-packed source of vitamins, minerals and essential proteins. Asparagus is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and vitamin K (phylloquinone). The mineral treasures that are stored in asparagus include iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, and potassium. Asparagus contains a very low amount of calories with no cholesterol and is low in sodium as well. Along with this, it is also a rich source of dietary fiber, which is essential for the body.

Cabbage, being rich in iodine, helps in proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, along with keeping the glands of the endocrine system in proper condition. It is good for the brain and is useful in the treatment of neural disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The various other nutrients present in cabbage, such as vitamin-E, keep the skin, eyes and hair healthy. The calcium, magnesium, and potassium found in cabbage is very useful for a wide range of healh benefits. Cabbage can also be used for the treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers, peptic and duodenal ulcers. The health benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Green Beans have plenty of healthy benfits including the reduced risk of heart disease and colon cancer, as well as an improved regulation of diabetes. They provide a big boost to your immune system and contributes to the elimination of harmful free radicals. These nutrient-packed beans also provide benefits to the health of your eyes and bones, while regulating your digestive processes. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects for pregnant women. The nutritional benefits of green beans are hard to argue with. These delicious and crunchy beans are low in calories and fat and contain no cholesterol. The fiber content is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for acquiring vitamins like A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. In terms of minerals, green beans are a good source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper.

Carrots can help reduce cholesterol, prevent heart attacks, warding off of certain cancers, improving vision, and reducing the signs of premature aging. Furthermore, carrots have the ability to increase the health of your skin, boost the immune system, improve digestion, increase cardiovascular health, detoxify the body, and boost oral health in a variety of ways. Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Carrots contain just 44 calories per 100gm.

Eggplant is an unusual vegetable that has a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce symptoms of anemia, increase cognitive function, improve cardiovascular health, protect the digestive system, help lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce stress, protect infants from birth defects, and even prevent cancer. The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from its vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content. Eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K,vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. It is also contains almost no cholesterol, or saturated fat.

Beets have such a wide range of health benefits because of their nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like carotenoids, lutein/zeaxanthin, glycine, betaine, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, while also being a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthocyanins. They are very low in calories, with no cholesterol, but they do have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. The health benefits of beets include the treatment of anemia, indigestion, constipation, piles, kidney disorders, dandruff, gall bladder disorders, cancer, and heart disease. It also helps to prevent macular degeneration, improve blood circulation, aid in skin care, prevent cataracts and mediate respiratory problems.

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), folate, vitamin K (phylloquinone), and vitamin B-6. Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and E (alpha-tocopherol) are also present in small quantities. It provides vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and manganese without adding any harmful cholesterol. It is a source of protein and offers very low amounts of fats. A substantial amount of the fat it does contain comes from unsaturated fats and essential omega-3 fatty acids. The health benefits of cauliflower include relief from indigestion, ultraviolet radiation, diabetes, colitis, respiratory papillomatosis, macular degeneration, obesity, and hypertension. The antioxidant power of cauliflower helps in strengthening the immune system and also helps in reducing risk of stroke, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. It also aids in maintaining bone, brain, and cellular health, electrolyte balance, optimum cholesterol levels and prevents cardiovascular disorders.

Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world’s population. These health benefits include their ability to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, boost heart health, protect from polyps, prevent cancer, manage diabetes, strengthen the immune system, reduce signs of aging, protect the skin, increase circulation, reduce blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, reduce insomnia, and boost eye health. If you eat potatoes regularly, you ensure a good supply of water and ions in your body. This is because they are rich in potassium. The concentration is highest in the skin and just beneath it. So, eating the potato with its skin is always beneficial. They also contain calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Potatoes are known for the large amounts of Vitamin C present in them. Typically, 100 gm will contain about 17 mg of Vitamin C. In addition to this, they also contains Vitamin A, B and P.

Mushrooms are a rich source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient in the formation and strength of bones. A steady supply of calcium in the diet can reduce your chances of developing conditions like osteoporosis, and can also reduce joint pain and general lack of mobility that is associated with bone degradation. The health benefits of mushrooms include relief from high cholesterol levels, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. It also helps in weight loss, and increases the strength of your immune system.

Dried Fruits like figs, dates, apricots and raisins are extremely beneficial for your health. Apart from being excellent laxatives, apricots are a great natural remedy for anemic conditions. Figs include potassium, the essential mineral that helps in controlling blood pressure. Raisins effectively treat anemia, acidosis, fever, and sexual weakness. It helps you to gain weight, promotes eye, teeth and bone health. Dates have abundant fiber that helps to prevent constipation.

 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.


Credit:
Organic Facts
http://www.healthyeating.org
SW Lake Lifestyle Magazine- Culinary Creations; by Emily Mayberry

American Chiropractic Association
Illinois Chiropractic Society
National University of Health Sciences