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What you see and What you don’t see

57 days to go and this was my breakfast this morning.

Government ‘Healthy Eating Guidance’ is to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. But it doesn’t flesh out the whys and the wherefores.

What you see here are pineapple, melon, blueberry, kiwi, banana and orange……………..

……………….what you don’t see are the vitamins, minerals and fibre. Let’s chat about those.

There’s vitamin C, enough across this mix of fruits to provide your recommended daily amount. There are vitamins, B1, B2, B5 B6, choline and folate,  A, K and E; the minerals, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, beta carotene, serotonin, antioxidants, anthocyanin and other flavonoids. Additionally, all fruits provide valuable fibre.

These micronutrients are essential for many bodily functions and provide us with many benefits.

  • It has long been recognised that eating fruit helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease and can also lower blood pressure.
  • Involved in collagen production they can improve skin condition and maintain healthy joints
  • Improved bone health
  • Improves blood glucose which can help with the management of diabetes
  • Improves sleep
  • Beneficial for mental health – studies have shown a decrease in cognitive decline in older adults
  • Good digestive health, reduces constipation
  • Anti-inflammatory properties and neuroprotective effects have also been demonstrated. For example, ‘free radicals’ are produced as a by product of normal body metabolism but these can build up causing ‘oxidative stress’ which can be harmful to cells. This is where the antioxidants have a major part to play in mopping up these ‘free radicals’ so preventing the cell damage which could lead to development of poor health conditions.

So there you have it. Next time you’re wondering what to have for breakfast or dessert, chop yourself a bowl of fruit. As to macronutrients it will provide plenty of carbohydrate but for some balance add some greek yogurt to provide some protein.

It’s best to choose fruits and vegetables of a variety of colours as each colour provides a different combination of micronutrients. Also to aim for at least thirty different fruit and vegetables a week. For more info see January Day 8 of Heart Healthy Habits on therunninggranny.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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