3 of the healthiest fruits in the world
(NaturalHealth365.com) Vegetables and fruits have unique phytonutrient profiles that have helped them to survive, withstand storms and predators plus disease. In fact, phytonutrients are the key compounds used by plants to ward off all kinds of threats to their system.
For example, some plants develop a bitter taste to ward off munching insects. Eating plenty of phytonutrients is one way that humans can piggyback off of plants’ defensive compounds and become more resistant to threats to our system such as illness, injury, and infection.
Vegetables versus fruits: Do you know the difference?
Did you know that bell peppers are actually fruits? So are pumpkins, tomatoes, string beans, eggplants, and many more foods you might have thought were vegetables.
A fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. According to this definition of fruits then, here are three of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense ones you can eat.
A smart way to protect yourself from harmful pollutants
One large red bell pepper contains 349% of your RDI for vitamin C. We really cannot get enough of this powerful antioxidant, especially as it relates to the coronavirus.
First, we cannot absorb iron without enough vitamin C in our system. Secondly, we cannot manufacture collagen without it. This is a major reason why smokers begin to look older faster – smoking depletes vitamin C in the body, causing a decline in collagen synthesis.
All this vitamin C in red bell peppers helps to protect us from free radical damage – the slings and arrows in our environment caused by toxins that damage our cells and alter DNA in ways that can cause cancer. Antioxidants also protect us against sun damage and help preserve our eye health.
Red bell peppers are also rich in a phytonutrient and antioxidant called lycopene – which helps in the prevention of many cancers, especially lung and prostate cancers. Red bell peppers are also very high in vitamins B6 and contain 100% of our RDI for vitamin A, which is so important for our eyes, along with lutein and, zeaxanthin, two important phytonutrients for the eyes (but not as much as orange peppers).
Consume them with grass-fed butter or make a salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil to make sure you absorb all this fat-soluble vitamin A.
A delicious way to keep your eyes and skin healthy
Pumpkins are one of the healthiest fruits around. Even their seeds and the pure essential oils extracted from them have powerful nutrients and constituents which have so many benefits for health.
One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 245% of eye-nourishing vitamin A, 19% of the RDI for vitamin C, and nearly 1/5th of our daily requirement for hard-to-get potassium, 10% of our vitamin E needs, and 11% of our RDI for B6 and magnesium.
Pumpkin is especially good for the eyes, as many orange-colored vegetables are. It is rich in phytonutrients like beta carotene and is one of our richest sources of lutein – both of which help protect us against age-related macular degeneration.
Being so rich in vitamins A, E, and C, it’s wonderful for the skin as well, helping promote collagen synthesis. For this reason, it would be wise to add pumpkin to a vegetable stew to really promote collagen synthesis.
Super prostate and digestive system protection
Grapefruit is not only rich in vitamins A and C, it also contains an abundance of antioxidants like lycopene and limonene that are powerhouse cancer-fighters. Again, lycopene is a phytonutrient carotenoid and pink grapefruit (not white) is one fruit (along with lycopene-rich tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, and guava), that have proven to help reduce men’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
In a recent study of 130 male prostate cancer patients and 274 male control patients, those consuming the most lycopene-rich green tea and eating the most lycopene-rich produce had an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer.
So, as you can see, the power of good nutrition should never be underestimated.
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