Fruit And Vegetables
There can be no denying the health benefits of fruit and vegetables. Moreover, it is scientifically established that five daily portions of these wonder foods provide significant protection against coronary heart disease (CHD).
The British Department of Health estimates that if we eat at least five portions of a variety of vegetables and fruit a day it could lead to a reduction of up to 20% in overall deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Protect Your Heart with Fruit and Vegetables
In this article we wish to illustrate some of the reasons as to just how these "wonder foods" can protect against heart disease and stroke. Moreover, substituting fresh, healthy foods with refined and high-fat foods will help to overcome obesity and as a result help control high blood pressure and diabetes. So what are the advantages?
These foods naturally contain a number of antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C and E and selenium. It is these antioxidants that are thought to help prevent atherosclerosis, although some studies show that supplements are not as effective as real foods.
They are a rich source of potassium that has been proven to regulate the heart.
Folic acid is abundant in vegetables and fruit, and this lowers homocysteine that has been associated with heart disease.
These foods are also rich sources of soluble fiber that reduces fat absorption and may help to improve cholesterol levels.
They are bulky foods with very low calorie content. If prepared in a healthy manner (not fried or covered with sauces or sugar) it is possible to eat large quantities without the risk of becoming overweight.
Eating five portions a day needn’t be difficult. In calculating your five portions remember that fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced types all count. An apple, orange or banana count as one portion, so does one large melon slice or large slice of pineapple. A cupful of strawberries, raspberries or grapes is one portion. A tablespoon of dried fruit is also one portion. Two large heaped tablespoons of vegetables equals one portion, or three heaped tablespoons of beans or pulses.
As you can see, reaching five portions of fruit and vegetables isn’t so difficult and can help protect your heart. Are you eating enough?
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