Vegetables and Fruits for Better Health

11 Vegetables and Fruits for Better Health

A rich diet with fruits and vegetables is essential for maintaining your health and preventing several diseases throughout life. Still, there is so much variety that choosing natural foods to complement your diet can be a bit overwhelming.

So in today’s article, we’ll share some options of fruits and vegetables for health improvement. You will understand the differences between these foods, their benefits and several suggestions to boost your diet and, above all, your health.

Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables

If you believe that taste determines what fruits and vegetables are, you are wrong. Although there is a lot of confusion around this subject, there are salty fruits and sweet vegetables, and the determining factor for classifying them is their biological composition.

According to botany – science related to plants or plant life – fruits are seed-bearing foods originating from a flowering plant’s ovary. In contrast, vegetables correspond to all other plant parts, such as leaves, roots and stems.

Some fruits that are often misclassified as vegetables are tomatoes, pumpkins, eggplant, olives and beans. On the other hand, some foods that we usually call fruits are vegetables, such as watermelon.

Fruits and Vegetables Benefits

There are several benefits of consuming fresh vegetables and fruits. Still, it’s important to mention that eating more natural foods won’t solve all of your problems. If you suffer from any health condition, consult your doctor or nutritionist to understand how to improve your diet.

According to this publication from the Harvard School of Public Health, here are some of the reasons you should consume more fruits and vegetables:

  • It can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • It is beneficial for people with high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • There is strong evidence that the consumption of fruits and vegetables is related to protection against cancer.
  • It can help with weight loss.
  • Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of fibre, which help maintain and improve gastrointestinal health.
  • It can keep your eyes healthy and prevent related eye diseases – especially for people over 65 years old.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables

According to Half Your Plate, here are some ways and tips on storing fruits and vegetables so you can buy more fresh food without any worries:

Fruits and VegetablesWhere to Store?What to do?
Avocados, Bananas, Kiwis, Mangoes, Melons, Oranges, Pears, Peaches, TomatoesCountertopRipen at room temperature before placing in the fridge to maximize the flavour.
Apples, Berries, Cherries, Grapes, Lemons, Limes, Asparagus, Beans Beets, Broccoli, Brussels SproutsFridgeStore them in the fridge as soon as you bring it home. Keep fruits and vegetables separately in the fridge.
Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter SquashPantryStore in a cool, dry and dark place. Keep onions away from other vegetables.
Frozen pieces of Mango, Grapes, Broccoli, Carrot and other VegetablesFreezerCut in pieces (if it’s the case) and place it in a bag.

The guys from Half Your Plate also prepared a complete Home Storage Guide, which brings even more details and insights on the subject. Check it out here!

List of Vegetables and Fruits that Boost your Health

While there are several options to diversify your diet, here are some of the healthiest fruits and vegetables you can find anywhere, considering cost-effectiveness.

Note: Remember that you should try to vary your diet to avoid overeating the same nutrients – consuming these foods in a balanced way. In this sense, the more different foods and the more colourful your plate, the better.

Healthy Fruits That Improve Your Health

6 Healthy Fruits That Improve Your Health

1. Banana

Bananas are composed mainly of water and carbohydrates, being a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin C, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Folate and Niacin.

Because it has soluble fibre, which helps your satiety, and relatively low calories compared to other fruits, bananas can be an excellent ally in weight loss. Antioxidants and minerals like potassium can still be great for improving heart health.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories89 kcal
Total Fat0.3 g
Protein1.1 g
Total Carbohydrates22.8 g
Dietary Fiber2.6 g
Sugars12.2 g
Vitamin C8.7 mg (15% DV)
Copper0.1 mg (4% DV)
Potassium358 mg (10%)
Magnesium27 mg (7% DV)

2. Apple

Apple can be considered a good source of fibre and Vitamin C, which helps to improve your digestive health and healthy immune system, respectively. You must consume the unpeeled apple to maximize the benefits of this fruit.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories52 kcal
Total Fat0.2 g
Protein0.3 g
Total Carbohydrates13.8 g
Dietary Fiber2.4 g
Sugars10.4 g
Vitamin C4.6 mg (8% DV)

3. Orange

A single orange contains all the vitamin C you need to consume daily (%DV). Vitamin C helps protect your cells, boost your immune system, and can help fight cancer-causing free radicals.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories47 kcal
Total Fat0.1 g
Protein0.9 g
Total Carbohydrates11.7 g
Dietary Fiber2.4 g
Sugars9.4 g
Vitamin C53.2 mg (89% DV)
Potassium181 mg (5% DV)

4. Mango

Mango can be considered a super fruit because it contains reasonable amounts of Vitamin C and A, which help to improve your immune system, eye health and several organs health.

This nutritious fruit also contains other vitamins and nutrients essential for the body, such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Copper and Potassium.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories65 kcal
Total Fat0.3 g
Protein0.5 g
Total Carbohydrates17 g
Dietary Fiber1.8 g
Sugars14.8 g
Vitamin C27.7 mg (46% DV)
Vitamin A765 IU (15% DV)
Vitamin B60.1 mg (7% DV)
Vitamin E1.1 mg (6% DV)
Vitamin K4.2 mcg (5% DV)
Copper0.1 mg (6% DV)
Potassium156 mg (4% DV)

5. Berries (Blueberry)

In addition to being delicious, berries are low-carb fruits packed with antioxidants that help your body control free radicals that can damage your cell.

They are rich in fibre, which helps maintain gastrointestinal health and several excellent nutrients for your overall health. Blueberry, for example, is an excellent source of Vitamin K, C and Manganese, in addition to containing several other nutrients in smaller amounts.

Here are some of the nutritional values of blueberry:

Calories57 kcal
Total Fat0.3 g
Protein0.7 g
Total Carbohydrates14.5 g
Dietary Fiber2.4 g
Sugars10.0 g
Vitamin K19.3 mcg (24% DV)
Vitamin C9.7 mg (16% DV)
Manganese0.3 mg (17%)

6. Lemon

Just one lemon contains all the vitamin C you need daily, making it a great alternative to oranges because it’s less caloric – and it has 4 times less sugar. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, so lemon can help improve your immune and digestive system and may also help to fight infections.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories29 kcal
Total Fat0.3 g
Protein1.1 g
Total Carbohydrates9.3 g
Dietary Fiber2.8 g
Sugars2.5 g
Vitamin C53 mg (88% DV)
5 of The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat

5 of The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat

1. Garlic

Garlic is a superfood that you should definitely include in your diet. In addition to adding flavour to many foods, it is an excellent source of antioxidants. There is still evidence that garlic may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and support your immune system.

Garlic is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese and contains reasonable amounts of Selenium, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Copper.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories149 kcal
Total Fat0.5 g
Protein6.4 g
Total Carbohydrates33.1 g
Dietary Fiber2.1 g
Sugars1.0 g
Vitamin C31.2 mg (52% DV)
Vitamin B61.2 mg (62% DV)
Manganese1.7 mg (84% DV)
Selenium14.2 mcg (20% DV)
Calcium181 mg (18% DV)
Phosphorus153 mg (15%)
Copper0.3 mg (15%)

2. Carrots

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, a good source of other essential vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the body, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

Carrots are also a good source of antioxidants and excellent for the health of the eyes (Vitamin A) and possibly supporting your bones health (Vitamin K).

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories41 kcal
Total Fat0.2 g
Protein0.9 g
Total Carbohydrates9.6 g
Dietary Fiber2.8 g
Sugars4.7 g
Vitamin C5.9 mg (10% DV)
Vitamin K13.2 mcg (16% DV)
Vitamin B60.1 mg (7% DV)
Potassium320 mg (9% DV)
Manganese0.1 mg (7% DV)

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is a low-carb vegetable rich in vitamins C, K, and A. There are several indications that the various nutrients in broccoli are great for heart health and the immune system. The fibre in this food may also support your gastrointestinal health.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories35 kcal
Total Fat0.4 g
Protein2.4 g
Total Carbohydrates7.2 g
Dietary Fiber3.3 g
Sugars1.4 g
Vitamin C64.9g (108 % DV)
Vitamin K141 mcg (176% DV)
Vitamin A1548 IU (31% DV)
Vitamin B60.2 mg (10% DV)
Folate108 mcg (27% DV)
Manganese0.2 mg (10% DV)
Potassium293 mg (8% DV )
Phosphorus67.0 mg (7% DV)

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato is another highly nutritious food that can be included in your diet. You should prioritize eating it unpeeled to avoid wasting the antioxidants that can defend the body from free radicals.

It is a food rich in beta-carotene (which gives it orange colour like carrots), an essential nutrient to maintaining eye health. There is still evidence that the nutrients in sweet potatoes can help prevent cancer, type-2 diabetes and support your digestive health.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories90 kcal
Total Fat0.2 g
Protein2.0 g
Total Carbohydrates20.7 g
Dietary Fiber3.3 g
Sugars6.5 g
Vitamin C19.6 mg (33% DV)
Vitamin A19217 IU (384% DV)
Vitamin B60.3 mg (14% DV)
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)0.9 mg (9% DV)
Manganese0.5 mg (25% DV)
Potassium475 mg (14% DV)
Copper0.2 mg (8% DV)
Magnesium27 mg (7% DV)

5. Asparagus

Asparagus is another low-carb vegetable that is highly nutritious. It is rich in Vitamin K, with reasonable amounts of Vitamin C, A and Folate – which helps to support a healthy pregnancy.

It is also a good source of fibre, which may keep your digestive system. It is also an inexpensive food that can be prepared in different ways.

Here are some of the nutritional values:

Calories22 kcal
Total Fat0.2 g
Protein2.4 g
Total Carbohydrates4.1 g
Dietary Fiber2.0 g
Sugars1.3 g
Vitamin C7.7 mg (13% DV)
Vitamin A1006 IU (20% DV)
Vitamin K50.6 mcg (63% DV)
Folate149 mcg (37% DV)
Selenium6.1 mcg (9% DV)
Copper0.2 mg (8% DV)
Manganese0.2 mg (8% DV)

Fruits and Vegetables Supplements

While supplements help replenish virtually all the vitamins and minerals you need, you should prioritize eating foods in their natural form. While supplements can provide concentrated doses of vitamins and nutrients, they do not replace the fibre, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and other vitamins and minerals you would ingest in the same food.

In this sense, the rule is quite intuitive. The more manipulated the food is, the fewer nutrients it will have compared to its natural form. Prioritize always eating and, when possible, eat unpeeled food without cooking or any type of process that can generate a loss of nutrients.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *