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Importance Of Fruits And Vegetables   
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Do you know what you take in makes you what you are? Do you also know it is dangerous to your health if the right content of food is not consumed?

Well, let’s face it. Bad eating habit(s) contributes about 5 per cent of death in Ghana and 35 -40 per cent of death globally.

Several diseases are also associated with imbalanced diet.

That is why it is important for one to know the right food to eat at the right time.

A study published in the public Library of Science Medicine journal has recommended that to get an extra 14 years of life, don’t smoke, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and drink alcohol in moderation.

The study further explained that, after checking more than 20,000 people 45 to 79 years in the United Kingdom from about 1993 to 2006, Kay-Tee Chaw, of the Cambridge University and colleagues found that people who adopted these four healthy habits lived an average age of 14 years longer than those who didn’t.

It may sound needless to talk about this as some of us pretend we already know the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, yet, how well do we do as people to practise it? How often do we do this? That is why, as human as we are, it is important we keep reminding ourselves in order not to deviate.

As the saying goes: “He who reminds is not a tormentor; he helps to achieve the desired goals.”

Fruits and vegetables are essential building blocks of any diet. Not only are they loaded with vitamins and minerals which are essential for healthy living, but also satisfy you as part of balanced diet.

By increasing an intake of fruits and vegetables, one is gradually reducing the risk of becoming ill, as this would boost the immune system as well as building resistance to common diseases and infections like: cardio-vascular diseases, kidney failure, stroke, hole-in-heart, osteoporosis among others.

Furthermore, it leaves you looking better and feeling great, as part of a healthy diet, which can be an all-round improvement for your well-being.

It is advisable that we consume five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday.

This may sound initially like a large proportion of our daily overall intake, although it is essential we strive to meet this target most days, for the benefit of our physical and mental health.

For the economy to flourish there must be an increase in productivity which highly depends on a healthy working force. The alternative is an increase in fruits and vegetable consumption.

This is because of the natural goodness contained within these ultimate healthy foods that will provide the necessary energy to fuel you through the day and give you the drive and determination to progress through a course exercise to improve overall fitness.

Having said that, fruits can act as a substitute for sugary snacks, which otherwise deplete energy and lead to numerous other health problems.

The natural sugar contained in fruits is essential for the effective maintenance of the immune system and the body’s natural defense mechanisms, as well as increasing fruits in the diet as a healthy snacking alternative.

Vegetables on the other hand, should account for a substantial proportion of each meal, to ultimately improve your diet and by ensuring a substantial role they play within your diet, you should end up seeing the benefits in your skin, hair and general health.

On top of this, an increase in fruit and vegetable intake can leave you feeling physically better and more alert, increasing attention span and reducing fatigue.

However, fruit consumption may have a side effect if not properly washed and rinsed and vegetables as well, if not well cooked.
Therefore, maximum attention must be given to its preparation to avoid any damaging effect.

Why not try introducing more vegetables and fruits into your diet today by doing a straight swap of fruits for sugary snacks and introducing vegetables to boost any meal as part of a nutritious and healthy balanced diet.

By Klu Johnson, student journalist, Africa Int. University College

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