With fall surrounding us, we thought it would be nice to have a little recap of some healthy tips to keep you and your family healthy this holiday season. Here is some healthful trivia about fruits and vegetables and how you can use them to stay healthy.
An Apple a Day
If you didn’t already know, the apple is one of the healthiest fruits, with over 7,500 varieties now cultivated worldwide. The apple is rich in the antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols are important compounds that reduce inflammation, and have proven effective in the prevention of cancerous cell growth. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, apples supply 22 percent of the phenols we consume, and increased apple consumption has been correlated with reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, phenols create antioxidant activity that reduces free radicals that cause cell damage and are believed to contribute to cancer.
More Than an Anti-Vampire Aide
Image provided by authoritynutrition.com
In 2009 there was a study that tested 34 vegetables against eight different kinds of cancer that created very different results. Although science hasn’t been able to identify a single vegetable that can stop cancer, there are many that have been able to reduce cancer cell growth. But which vegetable is the best? Studies show garlic to be the winner, displaying the greatest negative effect on cancer cell growth of all the 34 vegetables tested on seven of the eight types of cancer.
Now You’re Cookin’
Image provided by simplyscratch.com
You’ve probably heard the myth that the only good vegetables are raw vegetables, but to prove this wrong, there are some healthy benefits when vegetables are cooked properly. Kale is a great example of this. Everyone’s new found love for this leafy green could only be thought of as a good thing when it comes to cholesterol reduction. When we eat kale, some fiber-related nutrients bind with bile acids and escort them out of the body without being absorbed in the intestine. The body then, recognizing this shortage of bile acid, draws on the existing supply of cholesterol to make more, thus lowering the overall amount of cholesterol. For a twist, studies have shown that cooking enhances this binding property!
The Most Powerful Vegetable(s)
Image provided by healthyfig.com
Want to know what the most potent vegetable is based on its “nutrient density?” A study at William Patterson University in New Jersey looked at 17 critical vitamins and nutrients to answer this question. The winner of this study was watercress, one of the oldest leafy vegetables known to be consumer by humans. Watercress had a nutrient density score of 100 and proved to be the most potent of all 41 foods tested. Chinese cabbage and chard took the last two of the top three spots, with a nutrient density score of 91.9 and 89.2 respectively.
Image provided by gamerfitnation.com
If you’re ever asked the question, “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing, what would it be?” we have your fruity answer. There are so many things that come in to play when trying to distinguish what is the healthiest fruit, the main thing being what your definition of healthy is. Fortunately, Leanitup.com came up with a ranking of 30 different fruits based on a score comprised of 12 different healthful indicators, glycemic load being the most important. Your answer is BLUEBERRIES! Blueberries contain the most healthful composite profile of the 30 fruits tested.
Now you know what you should load up on when you head to the grocery store next!
Header image provided by goatmeats.com
– Caitlin Pallotta