Vegetable Nutrition

There are many reasons why vegetable nutrition or the nutrients found in vegetables are important to human health.

Research over the last 30 or more years has shown that vegetable nutrients may prevent life threatening diseases, such as cancer, ward off heart disease, or just keep us functioning at our peak.

However, the isolated nutrients do not always have the same effect as the whole food. For this and other reasons the American Cancer Society launched the five a day fruit and vegetables program over ten years ago.

But, sadly, research conducted by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that most Americans still do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

Surveys taken by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health show that the percentage of adults eating the proper amount of fruits and vegetables every day did not change between 1988 and 2002. The CDC survey of over 350,000 people showed that only 33% of adults eat 2 servings of fruit and only 27% eat 3 servings of vegetables every day.

Despite the five a day fruit and vegetables program which advertises the importance of fruits and vegetables in the diet to children and adults, less than half of Americans surveyed follow the advice.

Public health organizations and citizen groups have pressured fast food restaurants to provide healthier choices. Convenience stores now carry fresh fruits, vegetables, soups and other quick nutritious choices.

Vegetable supplements, juices and purees have hit the market. There is really no excuse for people who do not take advantage of the health benefits provided by vegetable nutrition.

Vegetable nutrients include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, natural sugars and more. Antioxidants reduce the negative effects of aging on the human body, both inside and out.

Some antioxidants protect the skin, others protect the inner walls of the arteries and veins and others protect the vital organs; the liver, the heart and the brain. It is possible for human beings to get complete nutrition from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

If everyone would focus on fruit and vegetable nutrition, we might be able to fight the obesity epidemic that is literally killing Americans.

Gastric bypass, for example, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for adults and teenagers. Complications can result in extended hospitalization and many people who have had the surgery can not maintain a healthy weight.

Five a day fruit and vegetables have been recommended as substitutes for higher calorie, less healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables are filling and provide natural sugars that increase energy, without the negative effects of processed sugars.

Energy drinks are increasingly popular for teenagers, but these are mostly caffeine and processed sugar. There are better choices for increasing and maintaining high energy levels throughout the day.

A vegetable supplement or a vegetable juice drink would not only provide the vegetable nutrients, but would also increase energy and help maintain it throughout the day. Caffeine and processed sugars give a temporary boost, but will ultimately lead to a crash. Too much caffeine can lead to increased levels of nervousness and anxiety.

Parents should start early by educating their children about vegetable nutrition, before they become obese teenagers and gastric bypass candidates.

It is all about making the right choices on a consistent basis. Five a day fruit and vegetables is a really easy goal to reach. Ten a day may be even better and is recommended by many health care professionals.

One juice, one fruit in the morning, two vegetables with lunch and dinner, a couple of vegetable juice drinks or snacks or a vegetable supplement and you have your recommended servings.

The human health benefits of vegetable nutrition are too numerous to be ignored and there is really no excuse for not taking advantage of them with all the products on the market today that make it easier than ever.

Much more than Vegetable Nutrition discussed back at the Home Page

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