Fruits and vegetables are really protective foods, they protect your body from various diseases. We can explain it as follows:
Carotenoids (pigments present in fruits and vegetables and are the precursors of vitamin A) in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like apricots, papaya, carrots, pumpkin etc.
Anthocyanins in Jamun, grapes, shahtoot (Mulberry), raspberries, blueberries, currants etc. have anti-cancer, cholesterol lowering and anti-clotting properties.
Quercetin and other sulfur compounds present in garlics, onions, leeks help protect against cancer.
Flavanons in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, guava, lemons and lime help prevent cancer and have anti-clotting properties.
Indoles present in broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kales.
Lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon, also helps in protecting against cancer.
Other Benefits: Anti-ageing, maintenance of skin, hair, eyes and brain function.
Also, these foods are valuable in obesity management due to their low calorie and fat content, high fiber and micronutrient content and a high satiety value. They work as great fillers and can be treated as free foods with the exception of potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam (Jimikand) and colocasia (Arbi), which need to be limited.
The major cause of any heart disease is the accumulation of oxidized cholesterol in arteries. Fruits and vegetables prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and therefore prevent accumalation of cholesterol in arteries. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of omega-3 fats, the kind of fats present in fish, which are known to prevent heart disease.
Intake of substantial quantities of fruits and vegetables is highly recommended to improve blood pressure control, owing to their high potassium and low sodium content.
Fiber plays a very important role in maintaining the blood glucose levels within normal range. Also since diabetics are more prone to oxidative cell damage leading to complications of kidney, nerves and eyes, the antioxidants in vegetables and fruits helps prevent these. However, excessive consumption of fruits or excessively sweet fruits/fruit juices can impair glucose control. Diabetics need to restrict their intake of mangoes, bananas, potatoes, Yam, Sweet Potato, Colocasia.
Certain fruits and vegetables like green leafy vegetables, prunes, dates, water melon, amla and citrus fruits are useful for preventing anemia.
Being rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin A and E and B vitamins, fruits and vegetables help boosting the immune system.
Being rich in fiber, vegetables and fruits provide bulk to the diet for good bowel movement. Particularly valuable ones include papaya, amla, bael fruit, green beans, green leafy vegetables, lady finger and brinjal.
Antioxidants and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables protect from different types of cancer development.