The Importance of Fruits and Vegetables

The Importance of Fruits and Vegetables

Summary: Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and the US Department of Agriculture guidelines state that we should have no less than five servings daily, yet the average American eats only around three servings a day.

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and the US Department of Agriculture guidelines state that we should have no less than five servings daily, yet the average American eats only around three servings a day.

Many people compensate for their lack of fruit and vegetable intake by taking supplements. However, research shows that these are no replacement to the nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables, because these nutrients work together. For example, eating spinach, which is rich in iron, and drinking orange juice, which enhances the absorption of iron thanks to the presence of vitamin C, is beneficial for people who do not have enough iron or have iron-deficiency anemia.
Not only do fruits and vegetables improve existing diseases or conditions, but they also aid in preventing many illnesses, including strokes and diabetes. One study that spanned 14 years and followed over 100,000 people concluded that an increase in daily consumption of fruits and vegetables led to a decrease in the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers have also taken an interest in the correlation between fruits and vegetables and cancer. Not much is definitive yet, but evidence suggests that certain vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens, and cabbage may lessen the likelihood of mouth, stomach, and colorectal cancers because these vegetables do not contain starch.

Another condition that can be prevented with fruits and vegetables is overweight or obesity, which can also lead to a vast array of life-threatening diseases. Because they are low in fat and calories, and contain lots of fiber and water, fruits and vegetables can make you feel full without increasing your caloric intake by much.

To reap the full benefits offered by fruits and vegetables, keep in mind that you should have various types of these. Let your plate be colorful and make sure you are getting enough!

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.
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