A recent study confirms fruits and vegetables (F&V) potential health-promoting effects beyond providing basic nutrition needs in humans, including their role in reducing inflammation and their potential preventive effects on various chronic disease leading to decreases in years lost due to premature mortality and years lived with disability/morbidity.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that F&V constitute one-half of the plate at each meal. More specifically, we should be eating at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each and every day, or roughly 1.75 lbs!

๐—๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐Ÿญ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€,ย according to a study published in 2017 in CDCโ€™s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). โ€œThis report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease,โ€ said Seung Hee Lee Kwan, Ph.D., of CDCโ€™s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

A growing body of clinical evidence demonstrates effects of specific fruits and vegetables on certain chronic disease states; however, more research on the role of individual F&V for specific disease prevention strategies is still needed. The scientific evidence for providing public health recommendations to increase F&V consumption for prevention of disease is strong. Current evidence suggests that F&V have the strongest effects in relation to prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases.

Data from scientific reviews and observational studies also support intake of certain types of fruits and vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, dark-green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and dark-colored berries, which have superior effects on biomarkers, surrogate endpoints, and outcomes of chronic disease.

A recent article from Harvardโ€™s T.H. Chan School of Public Health said, โ€œA diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss. Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.โ€

The article continues, โ€œAt least nine different families of fruits and vegetables exist, each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to health. Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. This not only ensures a greater diversity of beneficial plant chemicals but also creates eye-appealing meals.โ€

If you make just one dietary change this year, it should be replacing some of the processed snack foods, French fries and bread youโ€™re eating with fruits and vegetables.

Your health and your waistline will thank you for the change!

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