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Easy Healthy Fixes for Every Day!

Updated on February 27, 2015

The truth is that most people in our society and everywhere around the world don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and don’t get nearly enough exercise. Almost everyday we’re finding more benefits to adding fruits and vegetables into your diet staples. Equally important: exercise positively affects everything about the way we live. America is the most overfed, undernourished countries in the world. Our future generations deserve a better example. Also, our generation deserves a more fit, happy, light, lifestyle.

Fitness Model, Mariza Villarreal

Exercising releases endorphins in your brain and the main functions of endorphins are to make you feel happier and give you a boost of energy. Although after a long run you may feel tired, the overall effect is more energy throughout your day, and days to come. A nice workout wakes up your body and makes you feel alive. You get your blood circulating to awaken your muscles and mind for the day.

Not only exercise can help you have more energy though. Peas, avocados, and watermelons contain thiamin, “Vitamin B1/thiamine is important in the production of energy. It helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Not getting enough thiamine can leave one fatigued and weak” (Dr. Decuypere). Certain fruits and vegetables also contain riboflavin, “Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is important for body growth, reproduction and red cell production. It also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates” (Dr. Decuypere). Almost every single fruit and vegetable you can think of contains a great nutrient called niacin, “Niacin assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy” (Dr. Decuypere). Most other types of foods do not contain niacin and without it you would have no energy whatsoever.

One of the best things you can do for your immune system is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. “Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts—as part of a healthy diet—are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases” (fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov). Also, the prettier they are, the better they are for you, “Fruits and vegetables in vibrant shades, such as red, orange, yellow, and green, are especially rich in carotenoids, which help immune cells surround and kill off a virus. They also contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which strengthen cells and help them defend against invading bacteria” (Boost your immunity). The guidelines set out by the FDA have increased dramatically just over the last few years because of just how much these healthy refreshing foods can do to keep you healthier and live longer. “People whose diets are low in certain nutrients-notably the minerals iron, selenium, and zinc, the B vitamins (including folic acid), and vitamins A, C, and D-tend to have fewer and less active natural killer cells, a group of white blood cells that are the body's vital first line of defense against disease” (Boosting). The reason fruits and vegetables are so imperative when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system is because there are so many great things in them. Your body is always under attack from foreign materials to make you sick and the job of your immune system is to battle them off before you feel the effects of the ailments. “ A healthy immune system-well-armed with white blood cells, antibodies, proteins and other substances- can destroy or inactivate those foreign invaders, and might also spot and eliminate newly formed cancer cells from within your body” (Boosting). The fact that most people are aware that eating fruits and vegetables can fend of pre-cancerous cells and still don’t eat the recommended amount is absolutely crazy. The main thing in fruits and vegetables that do this is Vitamin C, “it plays a significant role as an antioxidant...Antioxidants act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals…Free radicals can cause cell damage that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer” (Dr.Decuypere). Many people believe that eating their fruits and veggies is a waste of time and their daily calories so they just take vitamins and find that to be perfectly suited for their needs. However, “Unlike foods, pills can deliver toxic doses of certain nutrients, resulting in side effects, drug interactions, and compromised immunity” (Boosting). You simply need the real stuff. And if it’s calorie consumption that concerns you, say no more, because most personal trainers and dietitians recommend eating as many fruits and vegetables as you can get your hands on, no matter what your recommended calorie intake. When you combine eating your fruits and veggies with an effective daily exercise routine you’ll just get healthier and healthier. “Exhausting exercise weakens the immune system, but moderate workouts have the opposite effect. They temporarily strengthen your defenses by boosting the circulation of white blood cells throughout the body, which allows them to detect invading and infected cells earlier. Repeated often enough, these short-term boosts appear to yield lasting benefits. Exercise may also enhance immunity by flushing out bacteria from the lungs and ridding the body of carcinogens through increased output of urine and sweat” (Boosting). Bananas, carrots, potatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin B6, “B6 plays a role in the creation of antibodies in the immune system. It helps maintain normal nerve function and acts in the formation of red blood cells. It is also required for the chemical reactions of proteins. The higher the protein intake, the more need there is for vitamin B6. Too little B6 in the diet can cause dizziness, nausea, confusion, irritability and convulsions” (Dr. Decuypere). Your immune system is one of the most important systems in your body; you should do everything in your power to protect it and when it’s as easy as some light exercise and some yummy things to crunch on, why not?

Foods High in Vitamin K

Fruits and vegetables have so many great nutrients in them it’s actually almost a little difficult to believe. Many foods like tomatoes, peaches, and watermelon have vitamin A in them which helps with cell production and keeps your hair, eyes, and skin healthy against infectious diseases. Oranges, bananas, potatoes, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots all contain antithetic acid which is important for your metabolism and the formation of hormones and the formation of good types of cholesterol. All people, especially pregnant women, really need Vitamin B9, also known as folate, “Your body needs folate to produce red blood cells, as well as components of the nervous system. It helps in the formation and creation of DNA and maintaining normal brain function, and is a critical part of spinal fluid. It has also been proven to reduce the risk for an NTD-affected (neural tube defect) pregnancy by 50 to 70 percent. Folic acid is vital for proper cell growth and development of the embryo” (Dr. Decuypere). Vitamin B9 is in almost all fruits and vegetables. You also get vitamin D which helps to absorb calcium and magnesium and, “helps maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood” (Dr. Decuypere). Blackberries, apples, and kiwis all contain vitamin E which makes red blood cells and can reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Last but not least, there’s Vitamin K, “Vitamin K is fat soluble and plays a critical role in blood clotting. It regulates blood calcium levels and activates at least 3 proteins involved in bone health. Vitamin K is found in significant quantities in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale” (Dr. Decuypere).

Basically, keep it simple. Smile, eat your fruits and veggies, dance with the flow of life, and focus on health. In and out.

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Sources

“Boost your Immunity” Stacey Colino. Real Simple. New York: Dec 2008. Vol. 9, Iss. 12; pg. 121.http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1596981431&sid=7&Fmt=3&clientId=21102&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved on 12/3/2008.

“Boosting Your Immunity”. Consumer Reports on Health. Yonkers: Dec 2008. Vol. 20, Iss. 12; pg. 8, 2 pgs. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1599960171&sid=7&Fmt=3&clientId=21102&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved on 12/2/2008

Decuypere. Dr. Decuypere's Nutrient charts. http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/vitamins-nutrition-chart.html

Fruits and Veggies-More Matters. ©2008 Produce for Better Health Foundation. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=53. Retrieved on 12/1/2008

“How to Work More Fruits and Vegetables into your diet”. Hmong Times. Saint Paul: Nov 5, 2008. Vol. 11, Iss. 23; pg. 14, 2 pgs. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1599924281&sid=10&Fmt=4&clientId=21102&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved on 11/30/2008.

Pritchard, Claire; Hall, Janice; Cronin, Eugenia.“Fruit, vegetables and social inclusion”. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. London: Nov 2006. Vol. 126, Iss. 6; pg. 255, 2 pgs. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1182195391&sid=117Fmt=

3&clientId=21102&RQT=309&VName=PDQ. Retrieved on 11/30/2008.

Traynor, Philippa H Holowaty, Debra J Reid, Katherine Gray-Donald. “Vegetable and Fruit Food Frequency Questionnaire Serves as a Proxy for Quantified Intake”. Canadian Journal of Public Health. Ottawa: Jul/Aug 2006. Vol. 97, Iss. 4; pg. 286, 5 pgs.

World Book Encyclopedia. (1995). World Book Inc. Chicago, London, Sydney, Toronto.

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