Today no one can deny knowing that eating fruits and vegetables is important for our health.
Yet a great many people do not or too little of it. Why is it important to have enough fruit and vegetables?
- First of all, fruits and vegetables provide us with vitamins and minerals that are essential for health:
- vitamin A essential for cell renewal as well as for sight
- B vitamins for energy, oxygen transport, fight against cognitive decline, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
- vitamins C and E , antioxidants. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and the absorption of iron by the body
- calcium against bone demineralization, also plays a role in muscle contraction
- iron for the transport and storage of oxygen; beware, excess iron is toxic to the body
- magnesium , essential for relaxation and muscle recovery, fights fatigue, hypertension, …
- phosphorus which is part of the composition of cell membranes, ensures the strength of bones and teeth and participates in energy metabolism
- potassium , which is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses; beware the excess sodium eliminates potassium and its effects, risking hypertension
- They contain antioxidants , fighting against oxidative stress due to free radicals, generated during physical exertion for example.
- To fight against environmental threats (insects, fungi, bacteria, etc.), they produce specific substances which, once in our body, will activate a defense system that will eliminate toxins and fight oxidative stress, thus making our immune system stronger.
- They are low in calories: they are therefore very useful during a low calorie diet, because they can be eaten in large portions in order to be full, while providing few calories.
- Because they are rich in fiber , eating fruits and vegetables contributes to good digestive health: they populate the intestinal flora with good bacteria and facilitate transit. Fiber is also useful for feeling full.
It is important to vary your intake of fruits and vegetables in order to benefit from a greater number of their benefits: green, red, purple vegetables, red fruits, citrus fruits, oilseeds, etc … depending on your preferences of course but also your possibilities (not everyone digests each fruit and vegetable with the same ease, and forcing yourself to eat what is not suited to our body is not a good solution).
Nutrients not found in plants:
- vitamin D3 (fatty fish, organic egg yolks, sun ), which plays an essential role in bone calcification, but also against fatigue, depression, many cancers, heart risks, etc…
- Zinc (oysters, red meats), linked to the production of testosterone. A deficit leads to a lack of strength and a decrease in performance. Zinc can be found in plants (cocoa, cashew nuts), but in low doses.
- The omega 3 EPA and DHA (fatty fish, organic eggs), anti-inflammatory, they protect mental health, produce neurotransmitters, help maintain good memory, play an important role in muscle contraction as well as recovery, and its beneficial for cardiovascular health. Be careful, omega 3 food supplements (fish oils) are worthless because they have a very high rate of oxidation, which makes them unnecessary or even harmful to the body.
- Vitamin B12 (fish, meat, eggs), essential for the growth of red blood cells, and also reduces the risk of stroke and cognitive decline.
- Others: carnitine , beta-alanine , carnosine … These amino acids found in meat can be of interest when effort to increase energy and muscle endurance.