Do I need to eat vegetables and fruits every day?

There are many myths about fruits and vegetables. They say that there is nothing useful in dried vegetables. And there is also an opinion that no vitamins are left in today’s tomatoes. We tell you how to understand the variety of vegetables and fruits, in what form they are eaten, and how often this should be done.

What about vegetables and what about fruits?

This question is more complex than it seems. In general, vegetables are all unsweetened fruits and leaves high in fiber. In terms of nutrition, vegetables include:

  • All types of lettuce and cabbage
  • Vegetables that we know from childhood – cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, peppers, celery, carrots, pumpkin, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and much more
  • Starchy root vegetables – sweet potato, potato, corn, and plantain (unsweetened banana)
  • Legumes: beans, peas, chickpeas
  • All kinds of sprouts
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms.

Again, from a nutritional point of view, fruits include:

  • Citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, pomelo, grapefruit
  • Stone fruits – cherries, sweet cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines
  • Tropical – bananas, guava, pineapples, mangoes, watermelon, and everything that smoothies are made on the streets of Thailand
  • Apple trees – pear, quince, apples, medlar
  • Berries.

This division into vegetables and fruits is very conditional. It is necessary to make it easier to understand the ratio of these products to each other.

What is useful in vegetables and fruits?

Most vegetables and fruits are low in calories but high in water and fiber. They also contain essential trace elements such as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. 

No such fruit could replace all vegetables and fruits at once. It is impossible to get the necessary substances and vitamins from one apple or eggplant found in other fruits and vegetables. You need at least a minimum of variety. Say, on Tuesday, in addition to the main menu, you eat tomatoes and zucchini; on Wednesday – carrots and onions; on Friday – tropical fruit salad and broccoli in peanut sauce.

Do I need to eat vegetables and fruits every day?

Here is a table with some of the essential nutrients that are often found only in vegetables. We have listed those vegetables in almost every store at any time of the year. 

Vegetables and fruitsSubstancesThe benefits of the substance
Spinach and green leafy salads 
Folic acidParticipates in protein metabolism
Needed for the formation of red blood cells
Prevents malformations in the fetus – foods with folic acid should be eaten by pregnant women
RiboflavinHelps to grow and develop
Needed for the formation of red blood cells
Bell pepper
Spinach and green leafy salads 
Vitamin AHelps to grow and develop
Helps the reproductive systemImproves eyesight
Forms bones and skin
Participates in the work of immunity
Brussels sprouts
(Vitamin C is found in all vegetables and fruits – we have listed the ones with the most of it) 
Vitamin CHelps build connective tissueHeals wounds 
Leafy salads and green vegetablesVitamin KStrengthens bones
Helps blood to clot 
Leafy salads and green vegetablesVitamin EHelps form blood vessels
Participates in the work of immunity 
Leafy salads and green vegetablesCalciumHelps blood to clot
Helps form bones and teeth 
Participates in the production of hormones
Helps the nervous system to work properly 
ChromiumHelps produce insulin
Normalizes metabolism

Disclaimer: do not replace food with vitamin complexes or dietary supplements. If you think that bruises heal for a long time, eat more kiwis and tomatoes. It is not necessary to rub vitamin C into the hematoma. Talk to your doctor if your sores and bruises are bothering you.

How often should you eat fruits and vegetables?

The World Health Organization advises eating vegetables and fruits every day; the body receives the right amount of fiber and is less prone to non-communicable diseases. Simply put, the intestines work properly if you often eat plant foods. It also reduces the risk that you will have heart disease. 

Of course, you don’t have to force yourself to eat fruits and vegetables all the time if you don’t like them. If you don’t like vegetables or can’t afford to add them to your diet daily, eat them whenever you can

How many vegetables and fruits should you eat?

Vegetables should be eaten more than fruits. Eating 3-4 servings of vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruits per day is better. One serving is 80 grams. It can be a dish the size of a fist or a fruit that fits in the palm of your hand. 

It is better to eat 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily – that’s just five servings. This slightly reduces the chance that you will ever develop cardiovascular or another non-communicable diseases.

What kind of fruits and vegetables are there?

Plant foods can be eaten in any form — fresh, frozen, dried, canned, whole, sliced, and mashed. It doesn’t matter how you prepare fruits and vegetables. They will still retain the most necessary: ​​fiber and nutrients. 

Organic fruits and vegetables on the table at the kitchen. Raw nutrition

The main thing is that the products do not have added sugar or a lot of salt. Vegetables and fruits in oil, fatty sauce, and vinegar are best eaten as little as possible. If you buy canned food, choose those where the fruits are cooked in juice or water. 

Try to eat fewer smoothies, juices, and dried fruits:

  • Dried fruits are high in sugar and calories. Eat no more than 30 grams per day – this is about a third of the palm
  • Juices lack fiber. Drink a maximum of one glass of freshly squeezed juice per day. Do not add sugar or salt to it. 

Can fruits and vegetables be replaced with supplements or vitamins?

It‘s not worth doing thatBest of all, vitamins, minerals, and fiber are absorbed not in the form of supplements but from food. 

Even if you spend some time in the Far North or in places where vegetables and fruits are practically not sold, you do not need to drink supplements. Eat more legumes and whole grains, and buy frozen and canned vegetables. 

It is worth adding vitamin supplements to the diet only after consulting a doctor. 

What vegetables and fruits are better to choose?

It doesn’t matter what vegetables and fruits you choose. The main thing is that the diet is varied. If you don’t like cucumbers, don’t force yourself to eat salads with them. Try something that you rarely eat or have never bought.

fruits or vegetables

Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits – they are cheaper and also less stored. They are also often tastier because they were harvested at their peak of ripeness. Do not refuse imported or greenhouse vegetables and fruits in winter or off-season.

What if you don’t like fruits and vegetables?

Perhaps you did not find the products and combinations you would like. Think about what could have affected this – in kindergarten; they gave a tasteless stew; the salad was always only from cucumbers and tomatoes, and you were forced to eat country apples that had lain in the garage for six months. 

Vegetables and fruits can be cooked in different ways. Look for unusual recipes, and order vegetables in an unusual serving at a restaurant. How about a fennel soup or pairing melon with Parma ham? Perhaps you will like a combination that you never suspected.

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