Five Fruits and Vegetables and Diseases They Fight

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2009-02-23 14:18

Better health and disease prevention comes from exercise and good dietary habits. We all know the facts – eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and at least walk for 30 minutes a day five days a week. Despite the fact that we know how to improve our health, few Americans get enough fruits and vegetables, preferring processed foods with consistent taste and a long shelf life.

Most studies agree- a diet consisting of foods from nature really can fight disease. Processed foods make us obese, yet they continue to reign in the American diet.

According to David L. Katz, DL, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, Director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, we have many changes to make if we are to move away from diets that come from assembly lines.

Dr. Katz says, "That we are what we eat is as irrefutably true as it is inscrutably hard to see. Just as we extract lumber from trees to build houses that don't resemble the woods, so we extract nutrients from foods to replace the cells we turn over each day by the millions, or to construct the growing bodies of children. What we eat matters".

According to the March 2008 issue of Hypertension, vegetables may help keep blood pressure lower and prevent injury to the blood vessels that can lead to heart disease. Dr Andrew J Webb (Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK) found that drinking a glass of beet juice daily, along with eating green leafy vegetables, is a valuable way to fight against heart disease.

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Comments

The Canadian Cancer Soceity now recommends that everyone take daily vitamin D to prevent cancer.
Great post about fruit and tart cherries. A friend just spent me a link to a free tart cherry juice report. It is packed full of great tart cherry information.
There does not seem to be any reliable evidence that tomatoes actually fight cancer, according to the FDA. Nor is there any evidence that anti-oxidants are beneficial. In fact there is some significant evidence that they are actually harmful. WebMd suggest that watermelon Viagra is far from proven.
Right - in each instance the studies are mixed. Some studies are positive for lycopene in tomatoes lowering cancer risk and others are not as conclusive. The American Cancer Society writes: "Evidence is strongest for lycopene's protective effect against cancer of the lung, stomach, and prostate. It may also help to protect against cancer of the cervix, breast, mouth, pancreas, esophagus, and colon and rectum." Same with arginine in foods like watermelon for improving blood flow, but more studies are emerging regarding the benefits. Johns Hopkins is conducting a study now to find out how fruits and vegetables or if they improve prostate cancer outcomes. Too many antioxidants can be harmful - also true. We need some free radicals too. It is about balance. You should never focus on one food or food group for optimal health for sure.

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