In my research, I have come across many tidbits and studies that help shape my nutritional philosophies. Other times, I find information that doesn’t tell me anything new, but states it in a new way, and makes a bit of an impact. This was one of the things that jump-started my own transformational journey.
In Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, he had a graph that depicted the correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption, and risk of disease. Now, I know we’ve all been told to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I guess I’m visual, and this graph just grabbed me! The almost perfect correlation was just so glaringly obvious in his graph that it really struck home for me.
The left side indicates HIGH disease state, and LOW produce and plant-based food intake (“unrefined plant foods”)… then you gradual move to the right, and see that as that produce intake begins to rise and finally peeks at the top right corner with HIGH produce intake, the disease rates have dropped significantly! Pretty much a perfectly proportionate shift. (Yes, I’m aware correlation is not causation)
The old USDA adage was “5 a day,” but many experts and studies now point even higher, and ensuring a variety of categories. Now 50-75% of your plate should be plant-based foods.
And I am on board with that high amount as the ideal to strive for.
So, what can a high produce intake do for you?
- SATIETY: Fill your stomach with a large volume of low-calorie foods, thus helping you feel full while staying low in calories.
- NUTRIENTS: Boost your vitamin and mineral intake in a natural way
- IMMUNE SYSTEM: Boost your body’s ability to fight infection
- MORE ENERGY! ’nuff said
- BRIGHTER EYES, SKIN, AND HAIR: Begin to heal your body on the inside, you start to glow on the outside. You can “Grow Younger!” as your old and tired cells are replaced with nutrient-rich healthy new cells!
- REGULARITY: Get extra fiber that can help with keeping you regular, which helps fight that awful bloated feeling you may get on other foods
- DETOXIFY: helps your body with its natural elimination of stored up toxins in your system.
- HYDRATION: Get extra water that remains in the fresh produce, which means extra hydration for you! (and your skin – helping to keep it from looking tired and dry)
- CRAVINGS: Lessen cravings for other processed foods, over time. You crave what you eat, believe it or not, and eventually people who eat more fresh produce crave more fresh produce as they break old habits and sugar addictions
I aim for vegetables at every meal – you can add veggies to omelets; add spinach or zucchini to smoothies; have salads; sautee, stir fry, and roast vegetables; puree and add to soups. Fruit is a great snack, mixes into oatmeal well, and can add a sweet tang to many dishes. Try something new, or sign up for a menu plan to inspire you!
Have a wonderful, fresh-filled day! I’m going to go eat a fruit salad 🙂