14 Healthy Fruits & Vegetables for Disease Prevention
Eat Your Greens. One Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor a Day. We have been hearing phrases like these since we were young but have you ever wondered what exactly makes these fruits and vegetables good for your health? In the following infographic, we wanted to highlight the health benefits of 17 common fruits and vegetables. From the juicy apple to the colorful Swiss chard, we examine what exactly these fruits and vegetables contain to make them good for your health.
Here is a brief summary of each of the fruits and vegetables listed in the infographic. We recommend checking out this link (where the information was sourced from) if you would like to read more about the scientific explanations.
Grapefruits Health Benefits
A pink grapefruit typically contains around 41 Calories. Pink and red grapefruits contain a nutrient called lycopene, which is considered to have good anti-tumor benefits. Studies also suggest that lycopene could also help with fighting oxygen-free radicals, which could damage your body cells. If you do not like eating grapefruits on its own then try simple recipes like a grapefruit chicken satay salad or a grapefruit cocktail. You will be surprised how refreshing it is to eat grapefruits on a regular basis.
Cantaloupes Health Benefits
Cantaloupes may not be the easiest fruit to find in supermarkets but they should definitely put into consideration if you come across them. Cantaloupes are packed with nutrients and are sweet as well. One cup of cantaloupe contains around 54 Calories. Cantaloupes are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research also suggests that cantaloupes are also great for those who are affected by some form of metabolic syndrome. If you want to get creative then we suggest integrating this fruit into recipes such as pies and salads.
Apples Health Benefits
What is there to hate about apples? They generally taste sweet, have a decent shelf life, and also contain a good mix of nutrients. One apple contains about 95 Calories. One particular nutrient we want to call out is polyphenol. This particular phytonutrient is thought to have good antioxidant properties for your body, especially for your cardiovascular system. Although we love having an apple on its own, it doesn’t hurt to combine it into other recipes such as smoothies. Apple goes well with so many things.
Lemon/Limes Health Benefits
Lemons and limes are making quite the headline in recent years. If you check out a list of fruits that have seen the fastest growth in recent years then lemons should definitely make the top 3. Along with being a good complement to a number of different recipes, both lemons and limes contain great health benefits such as having the property to fight cancers for various parts of the body including the mouth, skin, breast, and stomach. One study has also found that lemons could potentially provide some form of protection against body conditions like arthritis. If you want to take it up a level, consider growing your own lemon trees. Greenhouse kits are definitely a good way to grow lemons if you live in an area that does not have stable climate conditions.
Papayas Health Benefits
Don’t be deterred by the exquisite look of the Papaya fruit. According to studies and research, Papayas could provide protection against a number of different body conditions like heart disease. The fiber found in Papaya fruits could also help with improving your digestive health. Once the fiber from the Papaya enters the colon, it could bind with bad toxins to keep them away from the healthy part of your colon. One of the most delicious ways of eating papaya is by eating it as part of a salad.
Cranberries Health Benefits
For a while, cranberries have been known to have properties that help with preventing urinary tract infections. Cranberries also contain nutrients that could provide protection for your cardiovascular system. If you love drinking vodka cocktails then don’t exclude cranberry vodka out of your shortlist! You can feel slightly better for your body knowing how great cranberries are nutritionally.
Pears Health Benefits
In countries like Korea, pear juice is combined with honey to form a powerful home remedy against common sicknesses like colds and sore throats. Pears are gradually becoming known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection. According to one study, pears could also reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes and common heart diseases. It isn’t necessarily easy to have pear on its own so try mixing it up in recipes like pear and arugula salad, or pear and grilled cheese. You will be surprised by these unconventional dishes.
Cauliflowers Health Benefits
Moving on to vegetables, cauliflowers are starting to become more and more popular as a chef ingredient. As plain as they may look, cauliflowers contain a diverse profile of nutrients. For example, the likes of vitamin C and vitamin K could help provide antioxidant benefits. In providing these benefits, researchers suggest that cauliflowers could help with reducing the risks of cancer. So how exactly would you consume this particular vegetable? Try roasting it with a sprinkle of salt or making it into a soup.
Carrots Health Benefits
Since you were young, your parents and teachers may have told you that carrots are really good for the eyes. Well, they aren’t wrong. Carrots contain nutrients like carotenoids, which could help with improving your vision health. Studies have also indicated that carrots could help with reducing the risk of cancer. Try drinking carrot juice on a regular basis. You will notice an immediate difference to your well-being. Carrots could also make a nice addition to your front yard landscaping. Your neighbors will be intrigued to see all sorts of vegetables being grown in your garden.
Bok Choys Health Benefits
Bok Choys are really popular in Asian dishes. The Chinese love having them as part of a stir-fry. Bok Choys are known to be rich source of nutrients like vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin K is known to be an important nutrient for functions like strong bone growth and heart disease prevention. Bok Choys are becoming readily available in major markets. Enjoy your Bok Choys as a sauteed dish or incorporate them into your fried rice.
Beets Health Benefits
Beets could be considered an acquired taste. If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy beets then you may want to reconsider. Beets are an excellent source for a mineral called folate (also known as vitamin B9). Folate is a nutrient that plays an important role in DNA synthesis and repair. For men, studies have also suggested that folate could affect their fertility. One of the best ways to enjoy beets is by eating is as part of a salad. If you want to grow your own beets then you will definitely want to get your hands on a good string trimmer. It is vital that beets are grown in a well-aerated ground.
Kale Health Benefits
At first, most people thought kale would become a fad. How wrong could they be. Kale has become one of the most popular choice of vegetables for those who are seeking a diverse profile of nutrients. One cup of cooked kale will contain a lot of the nutrients your body would require including vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. As a result of having all these great nutrients, studies suggest that kale can provide a lot of anti-oxidant benefits. Kale could be enjoyed in a number of ways. My personal favorite is to bake the kale and eat it like chips.
Swiss Chard Health Benefits
Swiss chards are interesting vegetables because of their unique color. Along with being a rich source of vitamins, multiple studies have indicated that Swiss chards are good for regulating blood sugar levels. Swiss chard recipes do not necessarily have to be savory. You could also enjoy it as a dessert. Try mixing the Swiss chards with recipes like tarts and pastries.
Asparagus Health Benefits
Last on our list is the good old asparagus. It should not be surprising that asparagus could come with great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Asparagus is also thought of as a good support to the digestive system. The nutrient inulin, which asparagus has plenty of, is considered to be a good food source for bacteria in the intestine that promote better nutrient absorption.
By now, I hope you have become more motivated than ever to start consuming all these great fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. If you really want to take it up a level then consider growing them on your own. Gardening is not as hard as it looks. It is also possible to grow many of these fruits and vegetables indoors as long as you are able to provide enough sunlight.