Granny Was Right: Eating Green Improves Your Health
Eating your dark green vegetables can make you a healthier person according to the team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What is more important is they have discovered why it is so significant.
We have all heard of beta-carotene and it often gets the spotlight for being the reason why these veggies are good for you; however, it is its cousin’s alpha-carotene, that is getting credited for helping you live longer.
Both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are members of the carotenoid antioxidant family and when ingested both are digested and then converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal that is absolutely necessary for both low-light and color vision. Vitamin A also functions in a very different role, as an irreversibly oxidized form of retinol known as retinoic acid which is an important hormone-like growth factor for epithelial and other cells. Further, researchers have found that alpha-carotene plays a vital role in defending cells’ DNA from attack. Basically, they are DNA’s personal security.
Researchers from the CDC conducted a study for 14 years and found those with more alpha-carotene in their blood had lower risks of disease and death. Dr. Chaoyang Li of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta stated “Alpha-carotene may be at least partially responsible for the risk reduction; however, we are unable to rule out the possible links of other antioxidants or other elements in vegetables and fruits to lower mortality risk.” It was demonstrated that oxygen-related damage to DNA, proteins and fats may play a role in the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, according to background information in the article. Carotenoids — including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene — are produced by plants and microorganisms and act as antioxidants, counteracting this damage. Carotenoids in the human body are obtained mainly through eating fruits and vegetables rich in the nutrients, or through antioxidant supplements such as those found in pHresh greens.
Researchers state that veggies with alpha-carotene can be found in leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach and collard greens and that these foods can be an effective way to fight certain cancers. They are, of course, more likely to give the maximum nutrition if they are eaten raw and the great news is that they are quite tasty when used as the main ingredients in fresh salads. Read more…
So perhaps Granny was right when she said eat all your vegetables and made you sit at the table until you had a “clean plate.” The CDC has found that not even a third of adults eat even two servings of fruit each day and only a quarter eat three servings of vegetables. Maybe we should have listened to Granny, she always wanted the best for you!
In the meantime, to supplement your diet with an equivalent of 3 – 4 servings of fresh vegetables a day, take one teaspoon of pHresh greens®, mix it with water and enjoy. pHresh greens® are not only high in vitamin A but contain all the greens that carry high amounts of beta and alpha carotene.
Be sure to give some to Granny while you’re at it.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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