PLEASE…..Eat your veggies!


Eat your veggies! I heard that a lot during childhood. As a kid, I was never a big fan. My favorite vegetable was corn. And corn isn’t even a vegetable, it’s a grain. Forget peas, carrots, string beans etc. Disgusting! I don’t know about you, I am in my early 40’s, when I was a small child, most vegetables eaten were served from cans. Gradually, as I became older, the focus on vegetables moved from canned to fresh. And I am guessing, that helped a lot with the taste. I soon starting liking vegetables and as a young adult in my 20’s vegetables became a mainstay in my diet.

Vegetables are the body’s main source for vitamins, minerals and fiber. The nutrients that allow us to live a healthy life. Over the years we have been told to eat a certain amount of vegetables a day for optimal health. The latest scientific research reports that eating a higher amount of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of dying in men and women. A recent study of over 2 million people worldwide found that the optimal amount and combination of fruits and vegetables for longevity are 2 fruits and 3 vegetables a day.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables help reduce risk for numerous chronic health conditions that are leading causes of death, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Yet, only about one in 10 adults eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The take away from the study revealed:

• Intake of about five servings of fruits and vegetables daily was associated with the lowest risk of death. Eating more than five servings was not associated with additional benefit.

• Eating about two servings daily of fruits and three servings daily of vegetables was associated with the greatest longevity.

• Compared to those who consumed two servings of fruit and vegetables per day, participants who consumed five servings a day of fruits and vegetable had a 13% lower risk of death from all causes; a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke; a 10% lower risk of death from cancer; and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

• Not all foods that one might consider to be fruits and vegetables offered the same benefits. For example: Starchy vegetables, such as peas and corn, fruit juices and potatoes were not associated with reduced risk of death from all causes or specific chronic diseases.

• On the other hand, green leafy vegetables, including spinach, lettuce and kale, and fruit and vegetables rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries and carrots, showed benefits.