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Fruit Versus Vegetables

Fruit Versus Vegetables - Which one is better for you..

Fruits and vegetables offer natural plant compounds that help keep the body healthy. A good variety of fruit and vegetables is key.

If you are not a fan of vegetables you might think that you can make up for not eating them by eating lots of different fruits instead. We almost always mention them in the same breath “eat plenty of fruit and veg”. It's natural to assume that they are interchangeable in terms of providing the nutrients the body needs.

To some extent this is true you can get your vitamin C just as easily from berries as from broccoli. Potassium is found in potatoes and bananas. Fruit and veg also offer a varied range of phytonutrients natural plant compounds that can promote good health. Getting the broadest range of phytonutrients is a lot more likely if you’re eating both fruits and vegetables.

Phytonutrients are responsible for the flavours and colours in fruits and vegetables. When you think about fruits and vegetables more from the view of the huge range of flavours and hues that they provide, and not so much as sources of vitamins and minerals you can begin to see how different they really are.

For example, berries and broccoli may look similar when it comes to their vitamin C content but their phytonutrient profiles are completely different. Berries get their red and purple colour from certain compounds that are a lot more widespread in fruits than in vegetables.

On the other hand, there are different phytonutrients that are responsible for the strong odours found in broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. But you won’t find these smelly compounds in fruits. Another natural pigment, lycopene gives a rich red colour to fruits like tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon but you would not find much in most vegetables.

People assume that eating either fruits or vegetables is just as good as eating both fruits and vegetables. Fewer people dislike fruits than veggies and it’s often an issue of texture. If you don’t like the soft texture of ripe fruit, whirl fresh or frozen fruit in the blender, add to smoothies or use as a topping on cottage cheese or yogurt. If some fruits are too savoury, try the sweetest varieties. Pears, apples, mango, pineapple, berries are a perfect sweet treat.

If you don’t like the texture of cooked vegetables try them raw. If strong flavours keep you from eating vegetables try with seasonings, like herbs, garlic or citrus. You can also add them into soups, pasta sauces, casseroles and other healthy recipes. Or try cook them until tender-crisp then chill and toss into a salad. That way you won’t pick up their strong odours in the steam.

Lesley x x x

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