(NaturalHealth365) By now, it is no surprise (to most people) that fruits and vegetables possess powerful antioxidants. What may surprise you is how essential they are for a healthy mind and body. Fruits and vegetables are more than a “pick-me-up” – they re-energize your whole body. Everything from the common cold to more serious infectious diseases are known to respond to the right nutrition.
Heart news that will make everyone happy
According to a study in the American Journal of Medicine, a diet rich in antioxidants, can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack in women. The study followed 32,561 Swedish women between the ages of 49 and 83 from September 1997 through December 2007. Participants filled out a food-frequency questionnaire, during which they were asked on average how often they consumed each type of food or beverage during the past year.
Researchers calculated an approximation of total antioxidant capacity from a database that measures the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) of the most common foods in the United States. The women were divided into five separate groups based on total antioxidants in their diet.
Throughout the study, 1,114 women suffered a heart attack. Women with the highest total antioxidant rate had a 20 percent lower risk than the women who had the least total antioxidant rate. The group with the lowest risk – consumed three times as many fruits and vegetables, about 7 servings per day, compared with the others who had only 2-4 servings.
Even better news for cancer patients
There have been several studies that suggest flooding your body with super nutritional fruits and vegetables yield not only an energetic body and sharp mind, but slow the aging process and protect from and reverse cancerous growths. Evidence points to the fact that antioxidants can reduce cancer risk. In an epidemiologic review of many studies, which examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral cavity, stomach, bladder, pancreas and ovary – the consumption of fruit and vegetables were found to have a significant (positive) effect.
In the early 1990’s, researchers examined well over one hundred epidemiological studies related diet to cancer, and in 128 to 156 dietary studies, fruits and vegetables had a significant protective effect against a variety of cancers. The risk of cancers, for most sites, were found to be twice as high in persons whose intake of fruits and vegetables was low.
A recent study linked fruit and vegetables with a reduced risk of breast cancer in women living in China. In this population based, case-controlled study of women in Shanghai, pre-menopausal women who ate more dark yellow-orange vegetables and more citrus fruits had a lower risk of breast cancer.
A NEW way of looking at apples and onions
Studies show that antioxidants in apples and onions protect against lung cancer in both males and females. They found that there was a 40-50 percent decreased risk in lung cancer in participants with the highest intake of apples, onions and white grape fruits – compared to those who consumed the lowest amount. This was seen across all ethnic lines.
By the way, this was a very well controlled study, which looked at smoking history along with food intake.
In a Finnish study, involving 10,000 men and women and 24-year follow-up the same trend was seen with the same fruit (apple) and vegetable (onion).
Finding the fountain of youth is easier than you think
Several studies show that the combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds found in fruits and vegetables may be the anti-aging tonic we are looking for. The beneficial properties of plants help promote natural anti-aging processes in the body by assisting with collagen production and tissue regeneration. The active compounds in fruits and vegetables accelerate healing and are known for their ability to regenerate all body functions. Never underestimate the power of food and a healthy diet.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.