Since school days, I can remember that we’ve been told to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Likewise health pundits have long recommended us to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to stay healthy. Why, we didn’t know, except that they were good for you. In those days, and in our generation, we just accepted the advice. My seven siblings and I, who had been raised on three square meals a day with plenty of meat, fish, seafood and vegetables grew up healthy. Fresh fruit were eaten in-between meals. Fancy sweets and sodas were “luxuries” reserved for the new year celebration. Of course, we now know that the antioxidants that are contained in the fruit and vegetables are working their magic.
Based on new findings, research scientists now claimed that if we increased our daily consumption from five to seven portions of fruit and vegetables, we could also end up by being much happier! These researchers, based on surveys involving 80,000 British people, have discovered that people who consumed between seven and eight portions a day were happier in terms of feeling cheerful, loved and optimistic. The study found that those who ate eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day had an average score higher than those who did not eat any.
And just like my siblings and I who didn’t know exactly how fruit and vegetables help us achieve better health and generally a better well-being, scientists still do not know how eating fruit and vegetables work their magic. The fact is that fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which we now believe can help reduce stress. In addition, studies also show that children who eat more fruit and vegetables are less at risk of depression in their later lives.
Our bodies are dependent on their balance of chemicals to stay healthy. I am convinced of the body’s chemical balance, having observed the need for my mum’s specialist to prescribe medicines that can balance her potassium, sodium and other other chemical levels based on her blood tests. The oxidants carried in the fruit and vegetables are chemicals that help defend our bodies against illness attacks. Medical science will one day unravel the secrets of how the biochemistry of the fruit and vegetables work in our bodies physically and how they work and help our minds and emotions too.
I have long decided to eat everything and enjoy every morsel of food whenever possible. The key is to eat moderately, eat different kinds of foods, taste every new cuisine when I travel and above all eat colourfully – as all fruits and vegetables are. With the new findings, I have started with seven to eight portions of fruits and vegetables.
Now, even if our governments and health departments do not tell us to eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables, consider what the people in these countries do: (1) The French people are told to eat ten portions a day, (2) the Canadians between five and ten, (3) the Japanese thirteen portions of vegetables and four pieces of fruits. It’s your call my friends…