Healthy lifestyle with fruits and vegetables. (Photo courtesy of Mohamed Hassan)
La Cañada High School

Opinion: It’s time you eat your fruits and vegetables

You might have heard of this statement a million times, but hear it again: “Eat your fruits and vegetables.” This does not mean that you have to quit eating your favorite desserts and snacks. Instead, cut your meal portions, and fill in the blank spaces with fruits and vegetables on your plate. Taking an extra step can change your lifestyle in the long run. Fruits and vegetables can keep you healthy but they can also protect you against certain diseases.

“Low in calories, high in fiber, and with almost all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, vegetables are a nutritional cornerstone,” according to Merola.

Although salad is what many people think of when they hear “vegetables,” do not think of it as your only option.

There are various ways to incorporate vegetables in your daily meals. You can eat a sandwich that includes lettuce, tomato, and onion or dip vegetables in dressings for better taste. If you have troubled skin, you can eat your way for healthy, glowing skin. Genetics may play a role in the type of skin you have, but eating two to three cups a day will improve your skin’s condition.

Broccolis have vitamins A and C, zinc, and sulforaphane, which helps prevent skin cancer and sunburns. Tomatoes also have vitamin C and contain vital carotenoids, which help maintain healthy skin and prevent wrinkling.

Helio reported, “Nearly half of all the deaths due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are due to suboptimal diet.” This means that eating vegetables like spinach and parsley can help reduce the risks of those diseases. You can do your body a favor and eat vegetables to keep your body and skin healthy for a longer time.

If you do not like your vegetables as much, try eating more fruits. Fruits are sweet like sugar, so you may worry about them being harmful to their bodies. However, take that worry out. They may be high in sugar content compared to other foods, but they provide more sources of nutrients.

Fiber helps us with our digestion and keeps us feeling fuller for a longer amount of time. According to the National Academies Press, “The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.” However, many of us only eat half of the recommendation.

Since many fruits contain high fiber, eating avocados and raspberries will help satisfy your needs quicker. Like vegetables, fruits help prevent chronic diseases. According to LiveStrong, “Individuals who eat five servings of fruits or vegetables are 15 percent less likely to have a heart attack.”

“I eat fruits and vegetables in my daily meals because they are healthy, important, and provide us energy,” Erica Javier, a freshman at Quartz Hill High School said.

Eating your fruits and vegetables will never harm you, so eat them while you can. And keep in mind that it takes one, simple step to change your future into one that your body wants.