The best diets consist of an abundance of high-nutrient, low stress foods, and the first principle of a well-balanced diet is to eat a wide variety of those foods. Eating variety is important because different foods have different nutritional qualities.
Ideally we should try to get our vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements. While useful, supplements can’t fully substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies the many co-factors that nutrients require to be used efficiently by the body. Eating a variety of vitamin and mineral rich foods is good for our health, and no single food supplies all we need.
It’s hard to argue, therefore, with the health benefits of a diet rich in various vegetables and fruits. We’re often told to eat our vegetables, and there’s a good reason for this: a multitude of types and colors of produce provides you with a variety of the nutrients that your body craves. The antioxidants, minerals and micro-nutrients in these foods improve how we feel, helping us stay healthy so that we can hopefully prevent or cope better with disease and injuries.
The bottom line is your mom was right; eat your fruits and vegetables! Go for color and variety: dark leafy greens, yellows, oranges, purples and reds. Different colored vegetables have varying levels of vitamins and minerals, and by eating a range of colors, you can get a full array of those much needed nutrients.
Try to eat seasonally and locally when possible, so you get fruits and vegetables at their freshest and most delicious. To increase your intake, shop at farmers markets, join a CSA (community supported agriculture) and have fresh, local produce delivered to your doorstep, or grow your own in the backyard.
I was recently asked to contribute my thoughts on eating in good health and a fresh juice recipe to the summer issue of the House of Fifty Magazine. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, House of Fifty is all about inspired living. A blend of home, crafts, food and more, it’s a beautiful publication and a must-read.
Come see why I love: avocados, spinach, cucumbers, mint, blueberries, strawberries, papaya and watermelon on pages 23-27 and then get refreshed with a glass of my Watermelon, Cucumber, Mint Juice on pages 28-29.
What are your favorite ways to eat your fruits and vegetables?
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