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  • Writer's pictureHannah Norton

More Produce means Producing More!

Half your plate at every meal should be fruits and vegetables according to the nutrition guidelines of the USDA.

Healthy Produce to protect cells
Collecting Produce

Why so much produce? Half my plate? That seems outrageous!

Okay, let me break down the benefits of produce here for you!

Our bodies undergo constant chemical/hormonal changes - from the daily challenges we face head on to our bodies fighting off bacteria, viruses, and environmental toxins. The result of these chemical/hormonal shifts is stress on our cells and initiates an inflammatory response (free radicals) that if left unchecked can cause long term cell damage - resulting in more rapid aging of cells, autoimmune issues, heart disease, chronic syndromes, and potentially increases cancer risk.

How do we get rid of the inflammation and bring our bodies back into a healthy balance? The answer is in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Antioxidants work by donating an electron to these free radicals to neutralize their effect on the cells around them. Examples of antioxidants are: Vitamins A, C, and E (**which are most greatly found in fruits and vegetables!)

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Just like you might put citric acid (or orange juice) on apple slices to keep them from turning brown, eating appropriate amounts of fruits and veggies can keep your cells from being damaged by similar chemical reactions.

Mayo Clinic says that there's no limit to how many fruits and veggies you may eat in a day. Their benefits are in protecting our cells, slowing down the aging process, improving immune function, protecting our heart, and decreasing cancer likelihood. They recommend 5 or more servings of fruit and 5 or more servings of vegetables per day in order to obtain optimal health!

Can you do it? I challenge you today to try to get in at least 8-12 servings (1/2 cup or small piece of fruit sized) of fruits and veggies - and try to get at least three servings in before lunch! Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment and let me know if you were successful!

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