Disease vs. Nutrition

It’s not something new. It’s something we need to be reminded of from time to time though. EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES!

There is a definite link between disease and lack of fruit and vegetables in the diet of this fast paced society we live in.

A scientific study by Imperial College of London strongly suggests that nutrition, or lack of it, has a very powerful relationship with disease. The scientists found that 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented annually if people would eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They agreed that even adding 5 servings significantly reduced the risk of chronic disease. Ten servings was the best though.

To measure a serving for your reference…a single serving of fruit is similar to a small banana, an apple or an orange. Where veggies are concerned a single serving is equivalent to 3 heaping tablespoons of cooked spinach, peas or cauliflower. So you see, it should be relatively easy to reach these recommendations.

The problem with the Standard North American diet is that a high percentage of the population eats processed foods throughout the day for convenience, and taste. These processed foods may say they have veggies or fruit in them but they are stripped of nutritional value through the processing. They are loaded with sodium, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, saturated fat, are possibly genetically engineered and are full of preservatives. The best way to get our daily dose is to eat the “whole fruit” and the “whole veggie”. Fruits and vegetables as they are meant to be enjoyed. In their unprocessed natural state. As Mother Nature intended them to be.

The study found that the risk of heart disease dropped by 16% when just two and one half servings were included in a diet. With that amount of servings stroke risk and cardiovascular disease risk fell 13% compared to those who did not eat any fruit and veggies.

The most benefit was at 10 servings per day….showing a reduction in heart disease by 24%, stroke by 33%, cardiovascular disease by 28%, cancer by 13% and premature death by 31%. That’s worth it’s weight in “fruit and veggies”!

All fruits and veggies, in their uniqueness, contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, fiber and more that the body needs to produce energy, cell regeneration, organ functioning and more. The phyto-nutrients in fruits and vegetables are broken down and used in the body for circulation, detoxification and immunity. All necessary for “life”.

Start thinking of ways to implement more healthy choices in your day. Instead of having French fries, have a baked sweet potato. Opt for low-glycemic foods and colourful foods.

Cauliflower has taken it’s place in the nutrition world by storm….with cauliflower pizza crust…cauliflower bread, cauliflower rice etc. I found some cauliflower flat buns in the US this winter that I absolutely love. I brought a freezer full of these buns back to Canada with me this spring. Having a cauliflower pizza crust or bun is adding veggies to your diet and you still feel like you are eating “junk”. But it’s located with antioxidants.

Instead of having an apple turnover or a convenient pop tart for breakfast, enjoy a crisp fresh apple, sliced and sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon.

Stop drinking pop and start enjoying a fresh lemon squeezed into a tall glass of water. Add some honey or stevia for a bit of sweetness.

Just become more aware of ways you can swap out the junk and swap in the vegetables and the fruits. Your body will thank you by running at it’s optimum.

Think of it this way….Your car runs better on good fuel. Well so will your body.

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