Everyone Needs to Eat More Vegetables

By Dr. Adam Alpers, D.O.


Many people do not realize that tobacco products are not the only carcinogenic substances in our environment. There are many pollutants in the air that can easily cause serious damage to lung cells. If individuals in your neighborhood or work area have lung cancer, it may be of some benefit to reassess your own risk for developing this particular disease.


Ongoing research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health. To get the amounts recommended, most people need to increase the daily intake of fruits and vegetables they currently eat every day. The new guidelines recommend 2 to 6 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day or the equivalent of 4 to 13 servings.


Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. In order to reduce risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers, people are encouraged to eat a diet with high amounts of fruits and vegetables.


Many people realize they don't get the recommended daily servings of nutrients primarily from foods. To counter this, many people consume fortified foods or supplements. Fortified foods or supplements are designed to provide a concentrated supply of the recommended nutritional needs on a daily basis. However, there is the school of thought that there are other naturally occurring substances that are found in fruits and vegetables that can't be duplicated in fortified foods or supplements outside of their natural forms.


Fruits and Vegetables: Take Me On Your Next Ride!


As the saying goes, "An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away." Our busy lives can benefit from food that's nutritious, yet easy to eat on-the-go. It seems amazing that most people can multi-task in the car during the morning commute to work, talk on cell phones, text message, apply mascara at the traffic light, but to partake in something as simple as an apple during the drive seems so foreign to people. Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of energy and give the body many nutrients you need to keep going. Having a snack during the drive instead of a fast food meal from the drive through is one of the best ways to increase our daily intake of these necessary nutrients.


Every day you have a choice to better your health in small ways, start with a simple rule. The rule of 5's: Five fruits a day, Five vegetables a day, Five ounces of protein per day, and Five hours of exercise per week. Begin implementing this into your daily life and perhaps you will live a longer, healthier and well balanced life.