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Fruit and Vegetables - how many should you eat a day? The NZ guidelines recommend you need to eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day - specifically three or more servings of vegetables and two or more servings of fruits.

It is interesting to discover that the natural pigments that make fruit and vegetables so colourful can help protect your body too. With each passing year more evidence is discovered that support the wisdom of eating a colour packed diet to protect from cancer, promote a healthy heart, reduce hypertension, preserve eyesight and to protect the brain.

Vegetable Nutrients
Carotenoids (Stimulate the growth of new cells and keeps them healthy. Important as antioxidant or free radical fighters and some are converted into vitamin A). Orange, yellow and green coloured vegetables eg Pumpkin, carrots, kumara, spinach, parsley, sweetcorn and broccoli. Also some red vegetables eg red peppers, tomatoes contain Carotenoids.

Vitamin B Group (Release energy from food. Promotes a healthy nervous system). Green vegetables are the source of the Vitamin B Group.

Folic Acid (Important for healthy growth development especially during periods for rapid growth eg pregnancy. Promotes a healthy nervous system). Green vegetables contain Folic Acid.

Vitamin C (Fights against infection and is used in tissue repair and general health. Helps the body absorb iron form food. Important as an antioxidant). High levels in red and green capsicum and parsley. Very good levels in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower and radishes. Good levels in leeks, lettuce, spring onions, kumara, tomatoes, turnips, peas, beans, asparagus and potatoes.

Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Fibre are also found in a range of vegetables.

Further information go to www.vegetables.co.nz

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