Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts — as part of a healthful diet — are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. Depending on age and level of physical activity, men should eat between 2 to 2 1/2 cups of fruit and 21/2 to 4 cups of vegetables every day. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a smart thing you can do for your health.
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Mango – In just a 3/4 cup serving you will find vitamins C, A and B6; it is also a good source of folate and copper. Add fresh mango to salads and salsa (try grilling it) or toss some frozen chunks into your smoothies and overnight oats.
Kale – Whether you enjoy kale raw in a salad, sautéed in pasta or roasted into crispy chips, kale delivers vitamin K for healthy bones and blood, as well as calcium (more bone boosting) and potassium for your muscles. Kale is also classified as a cruciferous veggie, a family of plant-based foods with cancer-fighting properties.
Banana- They provide healthy carbs — complete with 3 grams of fiber per serving — as well as potassium and vitamin B6. Enjoy them as a snack, on a peanut butter sandwich or frozen and blended into smoothies.
Spinach – This versatile green can be enjoyed cooked or raw, in soup, on sandwiches or on pizza and salad. One cup of raw spinach — which isn’t even very much — boasts 181% of your daily needs for vitamin K as well as ample doses of vitamin A, folate, and magnesium.
Wild Blueberries – One cup offers up 6 grams of fiber as well as 170% of the daily recommended amount of manganese, a mineral that supports bone health and metabolism. These special blueberries may also boost brain function, providing 33% more brain-fueling anthocyanins (a specific antioxidant) than ordinary blueberries.
Carrots – Another no-fuss veggie worth devouring. From vision and skin protecting beta-carotene to fiber and potassium, carrots are one of the most affordable veggies around. A staple in mirepoix, carrots are also wonderful in cold pressed juices, salads and piled high on a sandwiches.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are one of the few foods that have more antioxidants when cooked. The antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes may help reduce your chances of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Bump up the lycopene content with cooked tomato products like canned tomatoes and marinara sauce.
Garlic – Garlic and other members of the allium family contain compounds linked to cancer prevention. So bring on the garlic breath and add raw or cooked garlic to sauces, soups, marinades and roasted and sautéed vegetables.
Avocado – From ice cream to toast topper, what can’t avocados accomplish? In addition to heart-healthy fats, avocados also contain antioxidants that may help protect against neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Apples – Apples contain plentiful amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, plus a chemical called quercetin that helps fight inflammation.