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'Eat your vegetables!' is what mom used to tell us all the time, but for some reason, as kids all of us despised them. Fruits, yes, were tolerable, but vegetables always seemed like the enemy. What we didn't know is that they can do so much for our bodies, that if we would have eaten those vegetables then, we wouldn't have half the health troubles we have now (and this includes something as minor as dry skin or oily hair). So what is that fruits and vegetables do for us, that everyone touts them as the best preventive measure as well as remedy for so many problems? Let's find out.

What do Fruits and Vegetables do for you?

When you consume a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, you are taking in a lot of nutrients that help your body maintain its immunity to several diseases, and lead a long healthy life. Here's a list of the benefits you obtain from consuming these wonder foods.

➾ Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, which contributes to several health benefits. These include:
  • Prevention of constipation
  • Weight loss and maintenance
  • Prevention of cholesterol and heart problems
  • Prevention of diabetes
➾ These popularly termed superfoods are also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants available from vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C, that are known to destroy disease-causing free radicals. As such, by consuming these you can:
  • Prevent the development of the various types of cancer
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Prevent mild to severe infections
  • Prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases
Other benefits of fruits and vegetables include:
  • Detoxification of the body
  • Improved metabolism and energy levels
  • Great skin and hair quality
  • Improved clarity of thought and alertness
  • Improved vision (particularly from consumption of carrots)
  • Healthy teeth and gums
  • Healthy pregnancy and childbirth
All in all, you are in for a very safe and healthy lifestyle if you make these wonder foods a part of your daily diet. Of course, you must take care as to not counter the effects of these foods by consuming foods very high in calories and no nutrition whatsoever. Also ensure you perform regular exercise for best results.

What Fruits and Vegetables should you Consume?

Try to consume as many colorful fruits and vegetables. Almost all vegetables and fruits are safe for consumption, with a few exceptions which can be unhealthy when consumed in excess. These include potatoes, mangoes, and grapes. The more color you have in your plate, the healthier your meal will be. Mix red cabbage, lettuce, peas, beans, carrots, olives, broccoli, and peppers with beans to make a salad. Also enjoy meals that consist of spinach, cabbage, green beans, kale, squash, and the like for maximum benefits. In fruits, enjoy apples, bananas, peaches, a handful of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), a handful of grapes, oranges, pears, grapefruits, papayas, and watermelons. Fruits and vegetables that can be consumed with the skin should be consumed like that so that you can get maximum nutrition from them. Some important tips to keep in mind when consuming fruits and vegetables are as follows.
  • Always consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned varieties.
  • Cook them lightly if you must. Else, enjoy vegetables roasted, grilled, or steamed. If you wish to boil them, do so in as little water as possible, and try to use that water for other preparations to retain the lost nutrients.
  • Try to cut vegetables and fruits just when you are going to eat them, as cutting them and storing can lead to loss of certain nutrients.
  • You can also enjoy fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, though the best benefit is attained by enjoying them in their raw forms.
  • You may also consume unsweetened dried fruits as these are as nutritious as the fresh varieties.
How Much Should you Consume?

Experts suggest that you should be consuming 5 portions of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. In fact, people adhere to strict fruit and vegetable diets to avail all the benefits they have to offer. One portion of fruit could be one apple or banana. One portion of vegetables could include a side salad with your lunch. This fruit could be added to your breakfast cereal. The vegetables could make a meal on their own or in conjunction with other foods.

As you can see, the power of fruits and vegetables is only for you to try and experience to believe in it. Speak to any nutritionist or doctor, and they will swear by the benefits these foods offer to the body. Enjoy them five times a day in small portions and you will find yourself feeling fitter, healthier, and refreshed.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way intend to replace the advice of an expert.