Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that less than 9% of Americans get adequate servings of fruits and vegetables every day? That’s right, more than 90% of us are walking around day to day not giving our bodies enough of the nutrient loaded fruits and vegetables it desperately needs.
Fruits and vegetables are one of the richest sources of vital nutrients that the body can’t get anywhere else. From antioxidants that battle free radical damage to enzymes that enable our digestive systems to properly break down and use the much needed vitamins and minerals found abundantly in plant foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of nutrients our bodies are craving and desperately need. Are you getting the recommended five to ten servings per day? Most people just aren’t.
Fruits and veggies contain nutrients that ward off the common cold and viruses as well as fight aging and long term chronic diseases such as cancers and other debilitating lifestyle diseases. What doesn’t show today maybe be lurking inside to surprise you tomorrow.
And while each and every fruit and vegetable offers a variety of important nutrients for our bodies, there are some types of fruits and veggies that are powerhouses of nutrients–the superfoods. It’s essential to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to be sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need, but it’s also wise to take the extra steps to be sure to get some specific plant foods into your daily diet.
The Big Players in the Fruit and Veggie World
As I mentioned, if you want to live a healthy, vibrant life you must eat at least the recommended five to ten servings of fruits and veggies a day. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; pick different colored plant foods to be certain you’re getting a variety of nutrients.
You also want to be sure to get in some superfoods everyday. These are plant foods that contain the highest levels of nutrients around. Many of these plant foods can’t be found at typical grocery stores but it’s well worth making the extra effort to get them into your daily diet.
You may not be familiar with many of these ‘superfoods’ so let’s take a look at a few of these vital plant foods our bodies desperately need today.
Discover Spirulina for Abundant Health
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is arguably the most nutritious food on the planet. Rich in protein (higher than that of red meats), vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants (particularly beta carotene), spirulina is one of the most powerful foods you can eat.
Spirulina is rich in 7 Essential Vitamins:
Spirulina is also high in amino acid content and contains all the EFA’s (essential fatty acids). Spirulina has a cell wall comprised of sugars and proteins making it easy for the body to digest.
In studies on spirulina it’s been found to consistently boost the immune system with regular consumption (University of California at Davis School of Medicine study, published in Fall 2000 issue of Journal of Nutritional Foods.)
Another important nutrient we should all be consuming on a daily basis is wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass: A Rich Source of Life Giving Chlorophyll
Wheatgrass is a young wheat plant known for its high amounts of nutrients, particularly chlorophyll. In addition to chlorophyll, wheatgrass is an abundant source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Chlorophyll is what makes plants green. It absorbs the sun so that plants can complete the vital photosynthesis process needed for life. Chemically, chlorophyll is similar to human blood composition which has prompted numerous studies on its benefits.
Proponents of wheatgrass consumption tout it’s abilities as a lymph system and liver cleanser as well as a body balancer. Its nutritional benefits are enormous.
Fruits and Antioxidants
Fruits, like vegetables, offer us certain nutrients not found anywhere else. When it comes to eating fruits it’s the same as with vegetables, variety is key–eat a variety of fruits, selecting fruits of various colors to gain the most nutritional benefits.
All fruits are nutritious, but there are some that are higher in antioxidants and nutrients than others. In our world today we are in desperate need of antioxidants to combat the toxins that seep into our bodies everyday.
Antioxidants are vital because they combat free radicals or oxidative damage which is linked to numerous lifestyle diseases such as cancers, heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and common aging problems.
Free radicals are damaging to the body because they are unstable (as a result of unpaired electrons) and search the body to ‘steal’ electrons from other cells in the body causing damage to them. It’s impossible to avoid free radical damage completely but it’s wise to try to limit this life altering damage as much as you’re able.
Since it’s not always easy (in fact it’s often a real challenge) to eat five to ten servings of fruits and veggies a day, it’s important to make those servings the most nutritious they can be. Including the following five fruits in your daily diet is vital if you want to get antioxidants in your body – and you should!
5 Most Antioxidant Rich Fruits
These fruits are 5 of the most antioxidant rich fruits in the world:
- Acai Berry
- Maqui Berry
- Goji Berry
- Red Grape Skin (resveratrol)
A great way to rate the power of an antioxidant is the ORAC score. As a reference, the acai berry has over 100,000 ORAC points. That’s 12 times higher the antioxidant levels in blueberries!
Consuming these fruits on a daily basis for life can help ensure that your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function, and that you’re protecting your precious body from harmful, long term damage from free radicals.
Toxins are Everywhere: Protect Your Body from the Inside Out
Today our bodies are bombarded with toxins everywhere. From the foods we eat to the air we breathe, our world is loaded with toxins that get into our bodies in numerous ways. Making healthy eating choices is one of the most important things you can do today to ensure good health tomorrow.
It’s not always easy to make sure you’re eating healthy. We all have busy lives: work, kids, our homes, friends, family, church, the list is endless. Taking the time to be sure you have all of these foods in your diet can seem overwhelming – and often it really is. Many times only health food stores carry the above mentioned fruits and vegetables like wheatgrass and goji berries. Who has time to track down these foods, go the various stores, and then find a way to prepare these foods so they taste good and your family will eat them? Not many of us have this much time.
There are other ways to incorporate these highly nutritious, vital for life fruits and veggies into your diet that won’t make your life a hassle. Supplements are available on the market that provide some of the nutrients in these foods. Using high quality nutritional supplements can be an indispensable tool in protecting your body and boosting your health.
UC Davis Health System (2000)
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