Five To Nine a Day- Are You Eating Your Daily Serving?
Five To Nine a Day
Are You Eating Your Daily Serving?
The USDA recommends eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, along with physical activity to promote good health. The Centers for Disease Control says fruit intake is critical to good health. Those who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a well-balanced diet may be likely to see an increase in health benefits.
One of our best defenses against cancer and other diseases is a strong immune system. Genetic factors are responsible for 15% of our cancer risk. The other 85% is based on our lifestyles. What can we do to keep our bodies healthy?
We are what we eat.
Several studies have shown that eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables may help in the fight against some forms of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants that quench free radicals.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals, in excess, produce harmful oxidation that can damage cell membranes and accelerate the aging process. Free radicals damage our cells like rust corrodes metal.
What causes free radicals?
Alcohol, tobacco smoke, stress, poor diet, pollution, lack of sleep and too much sunlight are contributors to the build-up of free radicals.
How can we fight free radicals? A nutritious diet rich in antioxidants, including fruits and vegetables, is absolutely essential.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in food which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to the body. When cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Antioxidants are essential for the production of healthy cells and may also enhance the bodys immune defense.
What can you do now to eat a diet rich in antioxidants?
Include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. These include foods such as carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, collards, cantaloupe, peaches, acai berry (found in juices such as Mona Vie), citrus fruit, green peppers, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Including one or several of these antioxidant sources into your diet can increase the antioxidant activity in your body.
For more information about a diet that is healthy and nutritious, consult with your physician or nutritionist. Start improving your eating and diet habits today.