Are You Eating Healthy? – A Review of Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetable is an ambiguous term, because it refers to any vegetable, even a fruit. Vegetables are living parts of living organisms that humans eat or otherwise consume. The word “vegetable” has therefore become a very vague term that encompasses a great variety of living organisms. In modern usage, vegetable refers only to the edible part of an organism.
The vegetable is most commonly considered vegetables as whole food. In ancient times, people believe that vegetables are tasteless, but modern scientists have demonstrated that they contain enzymes that can change the flavor of a vegetable. The word “vegetable” is often used in place of “fruits” or “leaves”, which are usually omitted from descriptions of vegetables. Most modern people believe that vegetables are inedible and do not include them in the daily diet. However, the word “vegetable” is commonly believed by most people to include all parts of a plant that is used either to season or cook with food.
Most fruits and vegetables are calorie-dense foods with low fat content. However, there is a considerable amount of evidence that suggests that some fruits and vegetables may play a role in weight loss, especially when one consumes a large amount of fruits and vegetables in place of one main dish. A recent study by USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) researchers showed that substituting one high calorie food for another (in this case, potato for lemonade) led to a significantly lower energy intake. In addition, researchers found that the percentage of energy spent on eating fruits (versus a vegetable) was similar between those consuming potato-laced lemonade and those consuming a control diet.
Another example of fruit and vegetable overlap occurs when comparing squash, a legume, to carrot, a vegetable. Squash contains two types of peptides: alpha-souric acid and galactofuran. Galactofuran is the dominant sweetening ingredient in most squash dishes. In addition, squash is commonly considered to be a root crop, so it is also high in vitamin C. As is true with other fruits and vegetables, the American Heart Association recommends that fruits and vegetables (especially those rich in vitamin C) be added to the daily diet to help protect against heart disease and stroke. When one consumes more than the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, the body begins to “turn off” the digestive system’s hunger suppressant ability, resulting in a withdrawal from cravings. This allows the person to eat more fruits and vegetables, resulting in increased daily consumption of these beneficial nutrients.
One final example of fruit and vegetable overlap involves cooking. Although most Westerners turn vegetable varieties inside out (frying, baking, broiling, etc. ), few people consider juicing as an alternative to traditional cooking methods. Though rarely used as a staple diet, juicing can add substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to one’s diet. The antioxidant-rich juices of both a cucumber and a carrot contain more vitamin C than an orange or a banana, for instance, and even a superfood salad dressing like a thing or lime juice can boost the daily amounts of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
While the foregoing examples offer only a small taste of the overlap between fruit and vegetable consumption, they serve to illustrate the important points of the topic. Refining, preserving and cooking vegetables further expand the scope of foods considered vegetables. And though some people enjoy the varying tastes of different vegetable varieties, no two people will ever be the same when it comes to vegetable preference. So, whether one chooses to buy whole food or make a few cupcakes with a vegetable dipped in strawberry sauce, it is important to consume vegetables in moderation and to consume them in their natural form. With a limited selection at your local supermarket and an obsessive mind that can never see vegetable oil and refined vegetable fat in the same sentence, eating healthy is a much more attainable goal.