As modern lifestyles have become more hectic, people have relied on processed foods and fast foods, meaning many people do not take advantage of the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here’s a list of just a few essential nutrients provided by fresh fruits and vegetables:
- Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyes and skin.
- Vitamin C boosts the functioning of the immune system, which helps prevent diseases and infections.
- Calcium, found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, is essential for strong teeth and bones, as well as for optimal functioning of muscles, nerves, and some glands.
- Fiber is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
- Magnesium is essential for bone health, the functioning of more than 300 enzymes, as well as to avoid muscle cramps and high blood pressure.
- Potassium, found in bananas, helps keep blood pressure within a normal range.
- Folate is an especially important nutrient for women of childbearing age, since it reduces the risk of neurological birth defects.