Eating Green

 Too Much Fruit

 We’ve been told for over a decade that five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are part of a healthy and well-balanced diet; but is this actually accurate?  Most fruit is high in fructose, a natural sugar.

While fructose is not as bad as processed sugar, the body reacts to all sugars the same.  Whether it is fructose, glucose, galactose, sucrose, lactose or maltose, the body will still recognize it as sugar, process it for energy and send it into the blood stream.  An excess of any of these numerous types of sugar results in higher blood sugar content and can eventually cause problems.

While fruit is high in several essential vitamins, it’s vital to control the quantity of fruit being eaten to help regulate the amount of sugar being consumed.

More Vegetables

A recent study by the American Journal of Nutrition stated that many families are eating their “five a day” but dark green vegetables only accounted for 6% of the fruits and vegetables consumed.

The reality is that a healthier and more well-balanced diet will actually be one serving of fruit to every four servings of vegetables daily, with the greener vegetables being the higher priority.

Vegetables are full of vitamins but also essential minerals necessary for good health; and they are lower in calories with less sugar than fruit.  Specifically, dark green leafy vegetables, calorie for calorie, are the most concentrated source of nutrition for your family.  They are rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

They are also high in Vitamin K, C, and E.  Many of the B vitamins they provide are a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

What are Phytonutrients?

Phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals, are the chemicals in plants that are beneficial to the body; the higher and richer the color of the vegetables, the greater the phytonutrient content.

Phytonutrients are important to your family’s health because of the following benefits:

  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Boost the immune system
  • They even promote cellular repair

Part 2: http://mnbtg.org/resources/health-wellness/eating-green-part-ii

kated

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