Dietary Guidelines for Americans published in 2016 suggest that we should incorporate fruits and vegetables in half of our meals. Each vegetable and fruit provide different health benefits, so we present you a list of the health benefits of 20 fruits and vegetables.
Apricots have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which make them extremely efficient in boosting the immune system. According to some studies, apricots can treat many inflammatory bowel diseases including kidney and ulcer problems.
Actually, apricot protects the kidney cells from methotrexate-induced damage. And, methotrexate is a drug used for chemotherapy which can damage the healthy cells of the kidneys.
Some studies have shown that avocados can fight hypertension as they have the ability to slow the heart rate (bradycardia) and relax the blood vessels due to their cardioprotective properties.
Avocados contain fat which is easily stored and broken down by the body. This fat is quite more nutritional compared to fat from processed foods. According to another study, avocado is extremely beneficial for treating diabetes. It can improve glucose uptake by the muscles and liver, thus decreasing the risk for metabolic problems which cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves.
Bananas are abundant with dietary potassium which is responsible for transmitting signals through the nervous system. People who have potassium deficiency often experience weakness and cardiac problems.
Bananas are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants and their consumption will improve your overall health and wellness. And, antioxidants will eliminate the free radicals from your bloodstream, which damage the healthy cells and tissues and will boost your immune system.
Despite its delicious taste, cantaloupe can provide many health benefits. A study published in 2002 confirms that cantaloupe extracts can reduce hyperlipidemia in test subjects with a high cholesterol diet.
Cantaloupe proved to be even more effective compared to Atorvastatin, a drug prescribed to diabetics. Furthermore, this fruit is rich in beta-carotene and it has the ability to improve vision.
Cucumbers contain an antioxidant substance, known as fisetin. They can improve the cognitive function and analgesia and reduce the risk of cancer. According to a study, published in 2014, fisetin proved to be extremely effective in persons who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Another study published in 2012 showed that extracts from cucumber contain antioxidant and analgesic properties. A 2013 study proved the chemotherapeutic activity of cucumbers.
Dates can treat liver damage, promote the heart health and boost the immune system. According to a 2014 study, dates can protect the liver from a chemical-induced damage such as medications and drugs which from the blood are filtered to the liver.
A recently published study, in 2015, discovered that dates have antioxidant properties. They can prevent plaque deposition in blood vessels.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable rich in nutrients. According to some studies, kale is rich in vitamins and minerals, probiotics, dietary fiber, and bioavailable carbohydrates and is very beneficial for those who suffer from micronutrient and calorie malnutrition. Besides from its consumption as a salad, you can consume it as chips.
Lemon is rich in vitamin C, responsible for boosting the immune system and protecting the body from disease. According to a study published in 2014, lemon has anticoagulant properties almost the same as Aspirin, and can prevent the formation of thrombi which can prevent the circulation of blood and block blood vessels.
Despite its rich content of vitamin C, pineapple is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium. For centuries, the pineapple was used in traditional medicine. A study, published in 2013 proved that the extract of a pineapple leaf has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can promote tissue repair and healing. Also, it can fight against microbial infections.
Even though its healthy benefits are not known for many people, watermelon has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. Some studies confirmed that watermelon can reduce the risk of cancer, metabolic, and heart diseases, lower lipid levels, and regulate oxidation tissue damage.
Apples contain phytochemicals which have the ability to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including asthma, heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Apples have antioxidant properties and can fight the spread of cancer cells and increase the serum cholesterol.
12. Aloe Vera
For centuries, Aloe Vera was used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes. When used topically, it can relieve itchiness and swelling. Moreover, Aloe Vera can regulate serum levels. A study showed that Aloe Vera contains anti-inflammatory properties and it can protect the nerves in the brain and promote natural health.
Artichoke or Cynara scolymus can protect the liver from damage. A study proved that artichoke is hepatocurative, meaning that it can reduce the oxidation stress on liver tissue, thus curing the liver damage caused by toxic chemicals as carbon tetrachloride.
Blackberries have powerful antioxidant properties and are a great source of phenolic compounds, tannin’s, and anthocyanin’s. They can fight H. Pylori due to their antibacterial properties. Moreover, they have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties and can fight heart disease.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C and are effective for boosting the immune system. Also, they can protect us from viral conditions, bacteria, and chronic inflammatory diseases. This fruit is rich in flavonoids and lycopene which can fight some types of cancer.
Green beans have high phenolic content and strong antioxidant properties. According to a study from 2015, green bean drinks have the ability to relieve fatigue. The focus of the study was on the swimming time of athletes. After drinking green bean juice, the time of athletes was significantly prolonged.
Beets have a significant nutritional value. They can prevent and protect the kidneys from damage. A study showed that beet extracts can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and kidney damage and injury.
These popular tropical fruits have a fresh and sweet taste. When they are consumed raw, mangoes can provide the best health benefits. However, they are also used in desserts like tarts and pies, and in drinks like shakes. Mangoes have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-obesigenic properties and are a rich source of vitamin C.
Broccoli contains phytochemicals and can strengthen the immune system and fight cancer. Many studies proved that broccoli can treat bladder cancer and influenza as it has anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent the spread of cancer cells, and reduce flu symptoms.
Cabbage is usually used in salads and in combination with other vegetables and meat due to its plain taste. A 2015 study confirmed the anti-cancer properties of cabbage. It can prevent the growth of tumor and fight the genomes that cause cancer.