Digestive Care Expert Brenda Watson

Get Your Antioxidants from Fruits and Veggies

As often as I can, I try to emphasize that diet is 80 percent of the battle when you are dealing with health issues. In fact, diet is 80 percent of the battle always. Whether you are healthy, on the road to health, or seemingly so far from health you can’t even fathom it—diet is 80 percent of the battle. If you do not address poor dietary habits, you simply won’t achieve optimal health.

One of the most important parts of diet that just about all of us need to address is fruit and vegetable consumption—I emphasize the vegetable part (and by vegetables, I don’t mean potatoes, corn, and other starches). Only 14 percent of American adults and 9.5 percent of adolescents eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day (and this includes potatoes, corn, and other starches, unfortunately). Yet some experts recommend up to 9 servings daily to achieve optimal health and prevent disease.

A recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine analyzed the antioxidant capacity over ten years of the diets of over 32,000 women aged 49 to 83. The women who consumed a diet with the highest antioxidant capacity—the equivalent of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily—had a 20 percent lower risk of heart attack when compared to the women eating the lowest antioxidant capacity diet—only 2.4 servings daily.

How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat daily? My guess is that you could use a few extra servings each day. Most of us could. Find ways to work these nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods into your diet. Snack on veggies. Be sure to eat vegetables with each meal. Add low-sugar fruits, such as berries, to your breakfast and snacks. It begins at the grocery store (or farmers’ market!) and continues as you plan your days and weeks. Make it your goal to add more fruits and vegetables into your life. Your health will thank you.


Written by Brenda Watson

Brenda Watson is among the foremost authorities in America today on natural digestive care, herbal cleansing and nutrition. A dynamic health advocate, best-selling author and celebrated PBS-TV health educator, Brenda overcame her own battle with chronic illness and has since helped millions of people improve their well-being through optimal digestion and nutrition. She continues to share her knowledge with the world through her books, online media, and radio and television appearances.Sign up today in the right sidebar to receive Brenda’s Healthy Living eNewsletter full of do-it-yourself tips, recipes, and exclusive offers!

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  • Wayne Isaacks

    Jack LaLane did it. Lots if raw vegetable snacks salads and meal portions. My wife and I turned to piling on the vegetables and fruit, and beans, and we both lost weight big-time & easily, feel like a million bucks, and it costs far less than meat/fat and you don’t go hungry, because you eat piles of clean food. Just not meat/fat/sugar/starch.
    For the busy, try the blender.
    I use a commercial smoothie model to purée raw kale, carrots, sweet red peppers, banana, pineapple, greek yogurt, garbanzos, oats, tumeric, ginger and flax meal as a super-food shake. I rotate/vary red/black/blue/yellow fruits & veggies and kale/collards/broccoli/spinach. Your imagination, experimentation and the lists of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory foods, you will find your faves!
    Realy fast, easy and tasty way to get a pile of veggie-fruit meals or snacks.

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