We all know that we should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day, but did you know that the majority should be vegetables and not fruits. Why? Here’s your top 3 reasons.
1.The sugar issue
Graph made by PhD Nutritionist Alice Callahan
For starters vegetables tend to be much lower in sugar than fruit and this is always a bonus. Less sugar means more balanced hormones and insulin levels (which in turn helps to control hunger and cravings) and also less likelihood of carbs being stored as fat. In fact, in a previous post I had mentioned the burden sugar places on our liver and how excess sugar is stored as fat. So it is important to be aware of all forms of sugar, even those from natural sources.
2.More valuable to your health
Secondly, it has been scientifically proven that vegetables have a more beneficial impact on health than fruit. One study found that “each daily portion of fresh vegetables reduced the overall risk of death by 16% percent” compared to just 4% for fresh fruit and zero for fruit juices.
3.Vegetables vs fruits – the battle of nutrients
This perhaps is due to the fact that vegetables also tend to be slightly higher in nutrients than fruit. For example, vegetables are much higher in iron, folate, vitamin A and calcium content.
All graphs made by PhD Nutritionist Alice Callahan
What I usually do is have 2 servings of cooked vegetables at lunch and another 3 raw servings (i.e. salad) at dinner. I tend to have 1 or 2 pieces of fruit early in the day and/or after a workout. This brings me to about 7 daily servings of vegetables and fruits which according to this study is the optimum number as anything higher than that did not show any further increase to health benefits.
So now you know why that nursery rhyme went like: “Vegetables, vegetables. You’ve got to eat your vegetables!” 🙂