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5 a day to stay balanced

There are many reasons why we should include fruits and vegetables in our diets. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and phytonutrients that contribute to good health. Fiber also known as roughage assists to push food down the digestive tract absorbing water and reducing defecation. Phytonutrients also referred to as phytochemicals are the naturally occurring compounds that are found in plants such as beta-carotene and if not taken may affect our health.

5 a day to stay balanced simply means that to maintain a balanced diet eat at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are practically fat free and have no cholesterol. Vegetables may be taken raw or cooked, fresh vegetables contain many vital vitamins minerals that could be destroyed through cooking. So take care when preparing vegetables, its advisable that if it is possible, eat the vegetables in the raw form.

Fruits also contain almost no fat and are completely free from cholesterol. The coconut and avocado, however, contain quite a high percentage of fat and should be avoided. A bowl of well constructed fruits and vegetables can provide quite a good delicious salad or dessert. Some favorite salads include the Gelatin salads and Aspic salads. They are quite good especially if prepared with the fruit or vegetable juices respectively. Fruits are available in seasons and when not in season use canned, frozen or dried fruits.

A simple way to improve your health is to add fruits and vegetables to the daily diet. This also boosts your flavor and energy. Fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes.

Fruits and vegetables provide quite a rich source of vitamin A and c, folate and potassium among other small quantity of nutrients. Lack of these nutrients in the diet can lead to deficiency diseases. Some of these diseases include Scurvy. Scurvy Is as a result of vitamin c deficiency. Its symptoms include bleeding of the gums and mucous membrane, spots in the skin especially on the thighs and legs. The person is feels generally depressed and looks pale. In severe case of Scurvy the re is loss of teeth and open suppurating wounds. This disease can be avoided buy taking a whole array of fruits and vegetables that include citrus fruits, bananas, blackberries, tomatoes, artichoke, cucumber, peas potatoes, corn kale etc.

Phil Adams-Wright is a food writer. Phil has covered many other food related subjects such as ethical food and Fair trade issues.

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