Friday, September 14, 2007

Eat Fruits an Vegetables with Color

Eat a colorful variety every day

You probably already know that a healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Most are lower in calories and higher in fiber than other foods. As part of a healthy diet, eating fruits and vegetables instead of high-fat foods may also make it easier to control your weight.

Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts — as part of a healthy diet — are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. These diseases include stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and perhaps heart disease and high blood pressure.

Find Your Balance

Becoming a healthier you isn’t just about eating healthy — it’s also about physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Adults should be physically active at a moderate intensity at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
To prevent weight gain, adults should be physically active at least at a moderate intensity approximately 60 minutes a day most days of the week while not exceeding caloric requirements.
Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes most days, or preferably all days of the week.
For even greater health benefits, increase the time or intensity of your activity.
get the most nutrition out of your calories

Consider this: if you use up your total daily calories on a few high-calorie items, chances are you won't get the full range of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

To get all the nutrients you need, without consuming too many calories, you should choose foods that are packed with nutrients, but lower in calories, from each of the food groups. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

To get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, or white onions. For more variety, try new fruits and vegetables regularly.

Fruits and vegetables are great live whole food sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Some of these nutrients may also be found in other healthy foods. Eating a balanced diet and making other lifestyle changes are key to defending your body’s good health.

Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects, including decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, white beans, soybeans, split peas, chick peas, black eyed peas, lentils, artichokes

Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.

Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
black eyed peas, cooked spinach, great northern beans, asparagus

Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Good fruit and vegetable sources:
sweet potatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, beet greens, white potatoes, white beans, lima beans, cooked greens, carrot juice, prune juice

Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, winter squash, cantaloupe, red peppers, Chinese cabbage

Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
Excellent fruit and vegetable sources:
red and green peppers, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, oranges, mangoes, tomato juice, cauliflower * According to the Institute of Medicine, a daily intake of 400 μg/day of synthetic folic acid (from fortified foods or supplements in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet) is recommended for women of childbearing age who may become pregnant.