Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fruits and Vegetables—five servings a day

“Dietary guidelines of 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables (FV) offer a reasonable amount of vitamins to control organic processes, which may contribute to a favorable cardiometabolic profile.”

It seems I’ve heard that recommendation most of my life—that and “eat all the colors.”  So I tested myself this morning on yesterday’s meals—because that’s about as far back as I can remember.

Breakfast:  one orange, a handful of raw carrots and almonds (2)

Lunch: a sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced ham and cheese, included a few slices of onion, and some dark leaf lettuce (it’s stretching the definition to call this two servings—more like 2 tastes)

I had a few pieces of dark chocolate left from Valentine’s Day, but chocolate is not a vegetable. Slice of raw cabbage. (1)

Supper: 2 helpings of butternut squash, “unstuffed cabbage” casserole containing tomatoes, cabbage and ground beef, cream pie with crushed pineapple  (5)

So, it’s not difficult, even with eliminating the poor showing at lunch, I had eight servings of fruits and vegetables combined, but for each 5  vegetable, and 3 for fruit. With just a little more effort at lunch, I could have had 5 FV each.

“Pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamins C and E, present in FV, are essential for proper physiological functioning. The importance of vitamin E for maintaining oxidative-antioxidant balance is widely recognized [8,9], but this must be accompanied by vitamin C in order to enhance antioxidant protection [8-10]. Pro-vitamin A carotenoids are present in brightly colored FV; such micronutrients modulate immune system and exert a protective action by reducing LDL-cholesterol oxidation via induction of antioxidant enzymes [10,11]. “  “Association of fruits and vegetables consumption and related-vitamins with inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in prediabetic individuals,” Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2014; 6: 22.

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