Most Americans do not get enough of their calories from fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables for all adults, but the Bloomberg School of Public Health reported in March of 2007 that only 11 percent of adults met the USDA's guidelines.
If you need a good reason to switch up your diet, consider the potential costs of unhealthy eating. Vegetables and fruits can improve your life significantly, but they can also lower your prescription drug costs in a number of ways:
1. By avoiding vitamin deficiencies, you get stronger bones and a better immune system. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants like betacarotene and vitamin C, which eliminate free radicals and allow your body to rebuild connective tissues. If you eat a variety of bright orange, leafy green and citrus fruits and veggies, you'll keep your body stocked with a variety of essential nutrients.
By getting more of your calories from fruits and vegetables, you'll avoid vitamin deficiencies and many recurring health problems. If you're taking prescription medications, your body might see more of a noticeable effect with the help of the extra vitamins and minerals.
2. Many fruits and vegetables support a healthy digestive system. By eating beans, apples, oranges and other foods high in fiber, you'll keep your digestive system working properly. You'll avoid constipation and other conditions.
If you eat a lot of meats or if you suffer from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, you should balance your diet with fruits and vegetables to avoid discomfort. In some cases, dietary changes can provide the same relief as digestive medications. However, you should always speak with your physician before discontinuing use of any prescription medicine.
3. By eating fruits and vegetables in place of carbohydrates and fats, you can maintain a healthy weight. Overweight people often require more prescription medications and have a higher chance of developing heart problems and other serious health conditions. While exercise is an important component of weight loss, many Americans lose considerable weight simply by changing their nutrient sources.
Talk with your physician to design a diet that will fit your lifestyle and improve your overall health. By adding fruits and vegetables to a balanced diet, you can greatly improve your health and significantly lower your prescription drug costs, but you should always review any major changes to your diet with your doctor, particularly if you use prescription medications on a regular basis.
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