Nutrition & Health

You have been reminded about it since you were a child. It’s a message that’s all around you. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Consume your five-a-day. Or, if you live in the US, eat nine to 13 servings a day. But why? What’s so important about those fruits and vegetables? This is truly a case of “you are what you eat.” Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help you perform almost every function of your body. They can also protect your overall health – especially your eye, skin and brain health.

Some important vitamins and minerals you may be familiar with are vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc. But you should also get to know another class of nutrients called carotenoids, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. These include lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and lycopene. Combined with the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are primarily found in fish, these nutrients will prove your mother was right: you need to eat your greens. Just don’t forget the yellows and reds.