Consuming the recommenced amounts of fruits and vegetables in our daily diets can make the difference between sickness and health. There are so many vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need contained within these simple foods. As we age, the caloric and nutritional intake that our bodies need to maintain proper function can fluctuate a great deal. We need more and more servings from certain food groups and less and less servings from others.

In the elderly population, increasing one’s intake of fruits and vegetables is very important for maintaining proper function of the body. The vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables can help the body combat illness and ailments commonly associated with old age. Additionally, increasing your intake of certain fruits and vegetables can also ward off serious medical emergencies such as heart attacks and stokes. The results of a recent study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that men and women who consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day were one third less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke. The study also found that for each additional serving added to the diet, the likelihood of an ischemic stroke reduced by six percent. A marked reduction in the incidences of prostate cancer has also been reported by the National Cancer Institute involving men who consumed several servings of cruciferious vegetables. Some examples of cruciferious vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Green foods such as the aforementioned ones are rich in B-complex vitamins, which are necessary for a healthy circulatory system. Green colored foods also contain components called phytochemicals. These substances haven proven to be very promising components in the body’s battle against certain forms of cancer.

Orange and green/yellow foods are the type that offer the most benefits to our eyes. As we age, our eyesight often begins to fail. There are many reasons for this – diabetes, macular degeneration, and cataracts are just a few examples. The beneficial ingredients found in foods of this color are called carotenoids, which help to rebuild tissue and rid the body of harmful free radicals. Carrots, peas, squash, pumpkins, and corn are just a scant few of the fruits and vegetables containing this ingredient.

The key to getting enough fruits and vegetables into your daily diet is color. Choosing foods from a variety of different color families at each meal will ensure that you get a little bit of all the good stuff that these foods have to offer.

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