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  • 22Sep

    Benefits of fruits and vegetables – are they equally healthy?

    Has anyone ever asked you about your preference between fruits and vegetables? People tend to answer that they enjoy eating both, but we often wonder which of them bring more benefits to our health. Through daily observation you might have noticed that younger kids often favor fruits to vegetables. On the other hand older people enjoy eating vegetables more than fruits because they claim fruits have more sugar content.

    Fruits and vegetables have similar functions but looking deeper you might realize that although both come from plants, they belong to different groups. By tending to consume more fruits – are you missing out important nutrients that are in vegetables? Are fruits and vegetables equally healthy?

    Differences between fruits and vegetables

    Fruits are part of flowering plants, that are products of flowers maturation. Most fruits are the only edible products of a plant and it’s hard to believe that actually their aim is to disseminate seeds. Usually fruits are characterized by sweet taste and they may either be fleshy or dry. Majority of fruits can be consumed raw or processed into canned goods or beverages. These products of plants are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, water and fiber.

    Different types of vegetables are rich in different nutrients

    Different types of vegetables are rich in different nutrients

    Vegetables, on the other hand, are edible plants or parts of the plants, excluding fruit and seeds. The word ‘vegetable’ actually comes from ‘vegetus’ which means a process of plant growing. Although vegetables are low in protein and fat, they contain large doses of vitamins and minerals.

    Benefits of fruits

    There is a wide range of fruits available. Each of them provides different types of nutrients. Here are some interesting examples:

    • Citrus fruits like orange, lime and lemon are the best sources of vitamin C and anti-oxidants that improve defense  reaction of our organism in case of infections
    • Tomatoes are rich in lycopene that has shown its effectiveness in combating certain types of cancer
    • Apples aid the process of body detoxification
    • Pomegranates are said to improve skin condition by reducing and preventing wrinkles
    • Bananas are rich in potassium – a mineral responsible for nerve transmission and muscle contraction

    Fruits are natural sources of sugar that serve as a fuel for our body in order to produce energy. They are low in sodium and cholesterol-free. They are quickly digested in stomach and contain fiber that helps our body during fat elimination process. That means that eating fruits is a natural solution to lose weight. It is advised that an average person consumed at least 2 cups of fruits daily.

    Benefits of vegetables

    There is also a great variety of vegetables that come with corresponding nutritional contents. Most of them have low glycemic index in comparison to their sweet counterparts. Vegetables are oftentimes preferred by individuals who wish to limit their sugar consumption. These edible parts of plant are loaded with fiber and therefore helpful in digestion process.

    • Green leafy vegetables are abundant in minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. These types of vegetables are also packed with vitamin K that is a key player in blood coagulation
    • Yellow vegetables and red vegetables are rich in different flavonoids and vitamins like A and E
    • Mushrooms have high protein content. Some of them have additionally anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties
    • Legumes are also considered to be good sources of protein, as well as manganese, folate and potassium

    A person should consume about 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. One serving is usually considered as ½ cup.

    What to choose?

    Basically fruits and vegetables are both natural sources of essential nutrients. However, the type and amount of nutrients vary according to the type of vegetables and fruits. Nutritionists suggest that a balanced diet should be composed from different kinds of both fruits and vegetables in order to make sure that you don’t miss out any important and healthy component.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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