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Fruits and Vegetables Nutrition

anne marie
Senior Editor, TipsHire
Fruit-Vegetable-Nutrition
Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition

Nowadays, we are all well aware of the fact that eating and drinking choices are factors which heavily influence the health levels of any given lifestyle. Hence, taking into account the rise in factors such as stress, hectic workplace hours, and culinary temptations, it becomes all the more important to focus on fruits and vegetables nutrition.

It goes without saying that knowing the advantages brought about by produce can then help you better manage your eating schedule and choices, as well as motivate you to learn more about how these wholesome alternatives can be integrated into your day-to-day meals.

Why are fruits and vegetables so important for our health?

Chances are you hear about this on a daily basis, namely that fruits and vegetables are definitely the way to go for an improved and happier life. But why exactly is it that doctors and nutritionists insist that we consume more of these foods on a regular basis?

Well, on the one hand, fresh vegetables, legumes, and fruit are a quintessential source of nutrients that our body needs in order to function correctly. These beneficial substances include a whole spectrum of vitamins (like B-complex vitamins, for example), minerals, and fibres, therefore leading to improved immunity, a sounder bone structure, and a regulated gastrointestinal rhythm.

Fruits and vegetables (especially the raw kind) are also packed with antioxidants, which slow down the aging process of your organism and protect you against a whole array of diseases that range from cardiovascular afflictions to different types of cancer.

Moreover, another advantage these foods bring to the table is that they are highly nutritious without being full of calories. In fact, eating a normal amount of vegetables, legumes, and fruit can quickly and efficiently satisfy your cravings or hunger and, at the same time, keep the scale on your friendly side.

The importance of vegetables

We all have at least a few memories of being told to ‘finish our vegetables’ as children – and probably throwing a temper tantrum for good measure too. What we probably didn’t realize back then is that vegetables are a unique source of nutrients and filling fibres which stimulate proper growth and functioning within our bodies.

Vegetables are generally very low in fats, sugars, and salt, making them good options even for those who struggle with health issues like diabetes and hypertension. For instance, most vegetables contain vitamin A (antioxidant properties), vitamin C (cell regeneration, immune system boosting), B-complex vitamins (energy production), and numerous minerals (like copper, iron, and potassium, which stimulate blood health, nerve wellness, etc.).

Moreover, their versatility in cooking means that they can be mixed and matched according to your personal taste, as well as prepared in numerous and delicious ways with the aid of spices, sauces, and as a complement to meats and other dishes (although the maximum nutritional value for vegetables is achieved when they are consumed in their raw form).

The high fiber content of vegetables means that you will both feel satiated quickly and experience more regular gastrointestinal movements, since fibers stimulate the gut into maximizing nutrient assimilation and eliminating residues more regularly than otherwise (hence doing away with issues like constipation or diarrhea, nutrient deficiencies, etc.).

As you will see later on, the overall caloric count of vegetables is almost always negligible when compared to most processed foods we frequently resort to satiate our hunger. In addition, these are ‘good’ calories, which are transformed by the body into essential nutrients and energy throughout the day instead of being stored away in the shape of fat deposits. These benefits translate into better focus and concentration, elevated moods, and increased protection against cardiovascular and neurological imbalances in the long-term.

Vegetables – Nutritional facts

Listed below are the most common vegetables we come across in our daily shopping and their specific nutritional perks:

Vegetable (100g, raw)

Calories

Nutrients (%Daily Value)

Carrot

41

0.2g fat (0%), 2.8g fiber (11%), 0.9g protein (2%), vitamin A (334%), vitamin C (10%), iron (2%), calcium (3%)

Sweet potato

86

0.1g fat (0%), 3g fiber (12%), 1.6g protein (3%), vitamin A (284%), vitamin C (4%), iron (3%), calcium (3%)

Kale

49

0.9g fat (1%), 3.6g fiber (14%), 4.3g protein (9%), vitamin A (200%), vitamin C (200%), iron (8%), calcium (15%)

Cauliflower

25

0.3g fat (1%), 2g fiber (8%), 1.9g protein (4%), vitamin C (80%), vitamin B6 (9%), vitamin K (19%)

Corn

365

4.7g fat (7%), 7.3g fiber (29%), 9.4g protein (19%), iron (15%), magnesium (32%), zinc (15%), vitamin B6 (31%)

Eggplant

25

0.2g fat (0%), 3g fiber (12%), 1g protein (2%), vitamin C (4%), vitamin B6 (4%), vitamin K (4%)

Broccoli

34

0.4g fat (1%), 2.6g fiber (10%), 2.8g protein (6%), vitamin C (149%), vitamin A (12%), vitamin K (127%), manganese (10%)

Avocado

160

15g fat (23%), 6.7g fiber (27%), 2g protein (4%), vitamin C (17%), vitamin B6 (13%), copper (10%), magnesium (7%), zinc (4%)

Pepper (red)

31

0.3g fat (0%), 2.1g fiber (8%), 1g protein (2%), vitamin C (213%), vitamin A (63%), magnesium (3%), zinc (2%)

Mushroom

22

0.3g fat (0%), 1g fiber (4%), 3.1g protein (6%), vitamin B3 (18%), vitamin B2 (24%), copper (16%), selenium (13%)

Tomato

18

0.4g fat (0%), 1.2g fiber (5%), 0.9g protein (2%), vitamin A (17%), vitamin C (23%), manganese (6%), potassium (5%)

Zucchini

21

0.4g fat (1%), 1.1g fiber (4%), 2.7g protein (5%), vitamin C (57%), vitamin A (10%), calcium (2%), potassium (10%), magnesium (8%)

Leek

61

0.3g fat (0%), 1.8g fiber (7%), 1.5g protein (3%), vitamin A (33%), vitamin C (20%), iron (12%), calcium (6%), manganese (24%)

Cabbage

25

0.1g fat (0%), 2.5g fiber (10%), 1.3g protein (3%), vitamin C (61%), vitamin K (95%), vitamin B6 (6%), manganese (8%)

Cucumber

15

0.1g fat (0%), 0.5g fiber (2%), 0.7g protein (1%), vitamin C (5%), vitamin K (20%), potassium (3%), copper (2%), iron (2%)

As you have probably noticed by now, vegetables pose the advantage of being low-calorie, yet highly nutritious at the same time, making them ideal for any healthy meal throughout the day.

How to incorporate more vegetables into your daily regime

  • Healthy snacking – replace fatty and sugary snacks with wholesome alternatives such as carrots, sweet potatoes, celery or beets. These will be able to satisfy your sweet tooth, tone down your hunger, and keep you healthy at the same time.

  • Stock up your fridge – while fresh vegetables tend to spoil quickly, their frozen counterparts can provide you with a similar nutritional intake. Be sure to always have them in your freezer for quick, easy, and nutritious meals.

  • Develop a routine – by incorporating at least one vegetable into every meal of the day, you will quickly develop a habit of having more healthful options for your day-to-day dishes (for example, veggie omelettes, fresh salads, smoothies, etc.).

  • Be adventurous – even if you are not that into vegetables, try to cook at least one new variety each month. With time and practice, you might actually come to enjoy their taste and texture (especially if you learn how to incorporate them into flavourful recipes – which can be easily found online nowadays).

The importance of fruits

It is safe to say that few people can resist the aroma and taste of a good, ripe fruit. With good reason too, since eating these natural and highly nutritious foods on a regular basis can save you from a lot of health issues in time.

One of the main advantages of fruit is that they contain natural sugars, which are good for those who are trying to eliminate processed sugars from their diet or who cannot consume it due to medical restrictions (as is the case for diabetes patients, for instance). Additionally, fruit are packed with antioxidants, which slow down the aging process by promoting cellular regeneration and preventing the onset of different medical problems (anything from respiratory issues to high blood pressure and bone wellness).

Similarly to vegetables, fruit have a high content of water, which is ideal for maintaining hydration levels in check, regulating metabolic rhythms and keeping you energized throughout the day. Fruit contain a large and diverse number of minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, etc.) and vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, etc.), which provide your organism with the nutritional ‘tools’ it needs to function properly on a daily basis.

The fact that fruit come in a variety of textures and flavours makes them easy to incorporate in any diet throughout the year. This means they can be enjoyed as a healthy snack at work or school, ordered as a dish in a restaurant or incorporated into numerous homemade meals, all with the same result – a healthy, filling, and deliciously nutritious addition to your daily wellbeing.

Fruits – Nutritional facts

Fruit (100g, raw)

Calories

Nutrients (%Daily Value)

Apple

52

2.4g fiber (10%), 10g sugar, 0.3g protein (1%), vitamin C (8%), vitamin K (3%), potassium (2%)

Orange

47

42.4g fiber (10%), 9.4g sugar, 0.9g protein (1%), vitamin C (89%), calcium (4%), vitamin A (4%), vitamin B2 (6%)

Pear

57

3.1g fiber (12%), 9.8g sugar, 0.4g protein (1%), vitamin C (7%), vitamin K (6%), copper (4%), potassium (2%)

Watermelon

30

0.4g fiber (2%), 6.2g sugar, 0.6g protein (1%), vitamin C (14%), vitamin A (11%), potassium (2%), copper (2%), zinc (1%)

Peach

39

1.5 fiber (6%), 8.4g sugar, 0.9g protein (2%), vitamin C (11%), vitamin A (7%), vitamin K (3%), copper (3%), potassium (4%)

Banana

89

2.6g fiber (10%), 12g sugar, 1.1g protein (2%), vitamin C (14%), vitamin B3 (3%), vitamin B6 (18%), manganese (14%), potassium (8%)

Grapes

69

0.9g fiber (4%), 15g sugar, 0.7g protein (1%), vitamin C (5%), vitamin B2 (5%), vitamin B3 (4%), copper (6%)

Kiwi

61

3g fiber (12%), 9g sugar, 1.1g protein (2%), vitamin C (154%), vitamin K (50%), copper (6%), potassium (7%), calcium (3%),

Strawberries

32

2g fiber (8%), 4.9g sugar, 0.7g protein (1%), vitamin C (98%), manganese (19%), potassium (3%), copper (2%), calcium (2%)

Lemon

29

2.8g fiber (11%), 2.5g sugar, 1.1g protein (2%), vitamin C (88%), iron (3%), vitamin B6 (4%), calcium (3%), potassium (3%)

Blueberries

57

2.4g fiber (10%), 10g sugar, 0.7g protein (1%), vitamin C (10%), vitamin K (24%), manganese (17%), copper (3%)

Plums

46

1.4g fiber (6%), 9.9g sugar, 0.7g protein (1%), vitamin C (16%), vitamin A (7%), vitamin K (8%), potassium (3%), copper (3%)

Cherries

63

2.1g fiber (8%), 13g sugar, 1.1g protein (2%), vitamin C (12%), vitamin K (3%), vitamin B6 (2%), potassium (5%), iron (2%)

Cantaloupe

34

0.9g fiber (4%), 7.9g sugar, 0.8g protein (2%), vitamin C (61%), vitamin A (68%), vitamin B6 (4%), potassium (6%), magnesium (3%)

How to incorporate fruits into your daily regime

  • Mix things up – while going raw is the best option for maximum nutritional intake, choosing other fruit formats can actually help you maintain a diversified and inviting diet. For instance, you can try out canned or dried fruit, as well as frozen or juiced varieties for a more interesting experience. Just be on the lookout for labels which have the ‘no added sugar’ specification on them.

  • Keep a fruit bowl in sight – do away with the temptation of other snacks by having a fruit bowl in the kitchen and/ or living room. This way, you will be more inclined to grab an apple or an orange to satisfy a sugar craving than a chocolate bar. The fact that some fruit spoil quickly (bananas and kiwis, for example) should be an added incentive to eat healthier and avoid wastage at the same time.

  • Become a more adventurous cook – although we tend to associate fruit with sweet snacks and desserts, they can also be great additions to otherwise traditional salads and meat or fish based dishes. At first, it might seem a bit odd to try new recipes that incorporate fruit in ways you haven’t been using them before, but their taste and novelty will be well worth the effort.

  • Try something new – the great thing about fruit is that you can literally never run out of new options to try whenever your go-to choices suddenly become ‘boring’. With supermarkets making the most amazing varieties of ‘exotic’ fruit available pretty much everywhere in the world, it would almost be a shame not to try a new type at least once in a while.

There you have it! All the amazing ways in which fruits and vegetables contribute to you wellbeing – one nutritious bite at a time.

So be sure to keep these advantages in mind next time you are considering on skipping one of your five daily portions of fruits and veggies!

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Fruits and Vegetables Nutrition
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Nowadays, we are all well aware of the fact that eating and drinking choices are factors which heavily influence the health levels of any given lifestyle. Hence, taking into account the rise in factors such as stress, hectic workplace hours, and culinary temptations, it becomes all the more important to focus on fruits and vegetables nutrition.
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TipsHire

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