Fruits and vegetables have been proven to prevent cancer. In fact, they may even help fight off some types of cancer. Eating fruits and veggies helps reduce the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, mouth cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, head and neck cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, and melanoma.
Eating fruits and veggies can help you lose weight. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that people who ate two servings of fruit per day were 28 percent less likely to be obese than those who didn’t eat any fruit. And eating just one serving of fruit daily was linked to a 9 percent lower chance of being overweight. Another study found that women who consumed three or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day had about half the risk of obesity compared to women who only ate fruit once a week.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can improve heart health. According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. One portion is equal to a cup of raw leafy greens, a half cup of cooked green beans, 1/2 cup of sliced fresh melon, 1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple, 2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup diced cucumber, 1 cup halved grapefruit, 1 cup quartered strawberries, 1 cup cubed watermelon, 1/2 cup raisins, and 1/2 cup dried apricots.
Research shows that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables tend to perform better on memory tests than people who don’t eat enough of these foods. Other studies show that people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables tend not to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health, eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help keep your bones strong. Foods high in vitamin K, like broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, and radishes, can help protect your bones by helping them build strong connective tissue. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, bell peppers, potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, and papaya, can also help strengthen bone density.
People who eat lots of fruits, especially darkly colored ones, tend to have healthier digestive systems. Darkly colored fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanin antioxidants, which have been shown to promote proper digestion.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that consuming foods rich in fiber can help keep your teeth healthy. Fiber fills your stomach and slows down the movement of food through your intestines, keeping harmful bacteria from multiplying in your gut. Fiber also keeps your bowels moving regularly, preventing constipation and hemorrhoids.