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Benefits of Eating Fresh Fruits And Vegetables from Home GardensBenefits of Eating Fresh Fruits And Vegetables from Home Gardens

CANCER

  • Nutritional factors that are protective against cancer include antioxidants,fiber,and phytochemicals,which are chemicals in plants that may provide significant health benefits.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk for cancers of esophagus,mouth,stomach,colon,rectum,lung,and prostate and it may also reduce the risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.
  • Increasing your intake of whole grains,fruits,and vegetables,decreasing your intake of red meats and fatty meats,and maintaining a healthy weight level are keys to cancer prevention (recommended by the American Cancer Society).

Factors that may be protective against Cancer:

  1. Antioxidants include Vitamins E,C,and A,Beta-carotene and other carotenoids,and minerals such as selenium. Antioxidants are found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
    1. Good sources of Vitamin C in local fruits include papaya,mango,Surinam cherry,passion fruit,carambola (star fruit),West Indian cherry,sugar apple,guava,sour sop,and citrus fruits (orange,lemon,limes).
    2. Good sources of Vitamin C in vegetables include tomato,all peppers,broccoli,and cabbage.
    3. Good sources of Vitamin A and Beta-carotine include dark yellow or orange fruits and vegetables,dark green vegetables,carrots,yams,squash,papaya,mango,spinach,other dark green leafy vegetables,and broccoli.
    4. Some studies show reduced risks for breast,colon,and rectal cancer with increased fiber intake. This would include edible fruit and vegetable skins,and the fiber in fruit or the vegetable.

HYPERTENSION

  • The dash diet can help stop hypertension.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables can help to reduce hypertension.
  • This eating plan as related to the topic of eating fresh fruits and vegetables includes the following:

Vegetables – eat 4-5 servings per day (serving sizes:1 cup raw leafy vegetables,½ cup cooked vegetables,6 fl. oz. vegetable juice)

Fruits – eat 4-5 servings per day (serving sizes:1 medium fruit,¼ cup dried fruit,½ cup fresh fruit,6 fl. oz. fruit juice)

HEART DISEASE

  • Eating a diet high in saturated and trans fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. By focusing ones diet on fresh fruits and vegetables will reduce the intake of fat from animal foods and other food items that are saturated with fat such as fast foods,bakery foods,chips,etc.
  • Dietary fats,both saturated and trans fats,are most highly correlated with an increased risk of heart disease because they increase blood cholesterol levels by altering the way cholesterol is removed from the blood.

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