As your Shape-Up For Summer (SU4S ) 2019 challenge is under way, and the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, I will be sending healthy tips and articles I feel are helpful and worth your time to purview. Below is an article by Sophia Ruiz from InBody that gives important facts about why eating fruits and vegetables are so important for our health and our ability to lose unwanted and unhealthy levels of body fat.
I have condensed this long article and but a link on the bottom if you have interest in greater details. In bold will be thoughts I feel more important to take note of and is not the author's.
May you see a wonderful improvement in the next 5 weeks. See what you can accomplish.
The Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Condensed version of article by
Sophia Ruiz, InBody,USA
With the modern prevalence of cheap fast food and the standard American Diet, it’s no surprise that most Americans
don’t hit the daily recommended intake of 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables.
(Robert recommends 5 or more servings for great results!)
Between restrictive diets that deteriorate quality of life, fast food, and the inherent flaws of the Standard American Diet, many may be missing out on the amazing health benefits that fruits and vegetables have to offer. These profound health-promoting qualities lie in the high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content.
Fiber Is Your Friend!
Fiber has a wide array of health benefits including lowering the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and more. It may also be beneficial for those who already have diabetes in its proven ability to improve insulin sensitivity — a major issue for diabetics.
For those seeking to improve body composition
, research shows that adding fiber to your diet can amplify weight loss goals. Although the exact mechanisms behind the benefits are not all defined yet, studies show a clear association with high fiber intake and markers of health. Considering fruits and vegetables are the highest fiber foods available to us, they are a huge contributor to fiber intake.
Fiber and Gut Health
To add to the list, the
friendly bacteria that live in our gut also thrive off of fruit and vegetable fiber
. Because our body doesn’t absorb fiber, it becomes readily available to these bacteria that ferment it. Anti-inflammatory short chain fatty acids are released as a by-product of this process and are
key to protecting the health of the gut.
They may also have metabolic implications,
including appetite regulation and correlation with lower insulin levels.
Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Fiber is exclusively found in plant foods
, which is just another motivating reason to boost your vegetable and fruit consumption. The level of fiber is dependent on the individual vegetable or fruit.
Fiber Content of Fruits and Vegetables
- Lentils 11.7g/3.5 oz
- White Beans, raw 17.7g/3.5 oz
- Kidney Beans, canned 6.3g/3.5 oz
- Kiwi 3.39g/3.5 oz
NOTE: To protect the high fiber content of these foods, avoid peeling which can reduce fruit and vegetable fiber content.
Folate, specifically, also plays a critical role in energy production.
Folate is essential to the Folate Cycle which assists in converting homocysteine to methionine in the Methionine cycle
Note from Robert: Folic Acid is not the same as Folate.
folic acid is a synthesized version of vitamin B9 that is added to processed foods and the common version used in supplements. Folates are found in vegetables and fruit!
With the help of other B-vitamins, methionine is eventually converted into ketobutyrate, which is a key contributor to mitochondrial energy production in the Krebs Cycle.
The well-known health benefits of fruits and vegetables due to their high antioxidant, fiber, and water-soluble vitamin content, like the B-complex and vitamin C, are the basis for the encouragement of including them in your diet. Government bodies currently recommend 1 and ½ to 2 cups of fruits and 2 and ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your sex and age, for optimal health.
(Note from Robert: More produces great results)
Restrictive diets that exclude or significantly reduce plant consumption may result in deficiencies
of these nutrients, specifically and most likely, vitamin C and fiber. It’s best to discuss a plan for implementing these diets in detail with your doctor after blood work, making sure adopting one of these diets won’t lead to deficiency.
You can include more of the plant foods mentioned above in your diet by consciously planning your meals. Try substituting your snacks for fruits or veggies or include a vegetable in every meal. If you meal prep, it’s really easy to prepare your fruits and veggies in bulk for easy access and consumption!
With the amazing health benefits of fruits and vegetables, abundant availability, and easy preparation, it’s so easy to get these beneficial foods into your diet and achieve optimal health and nutrition.
Sophia Ruiz is a health and wellness freelance writer & blogger. As an Instagram influencer, she uses her platforms to promote consumer empowerment through education.
Robert's comments and notes:
After 50 years of working with members on losing weight through exercise and various diets, I have learned that weight loss and fat loss is accomplished through proper eating and nutrition, and your shape, tone and fitness levels are accomplished through a proper exercise program (of cardio, resistance and strength training, flexibility and posture.)
The most effective way I have found to lose body fat and NOT muscle is eating enough vegetables and fruit (not juices), drinking enough water (about
eight 8-ounce glasses), and quality protein (not too much or too little, about 1 gram per 3.lbs of body weight for the average sedentary person and more for highly active persons.
Stay Healthy. Long term fitness!