Principle #4: Fruit and vegetables reduce disease risk—and may help you lose weight, too.
Among the various types of whole foods, produce deserves special mention.
Fruits and veggies are loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients.
And a huge body of evidence from the past 20 years definitively shows that consuming more produce can help prevent a wide range of health problems, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
For example, by simply increasing vegetable and fruit intake, experts predict that we could prevent 20 percent or more of all cancer cases, and avoid approximately 200,000 cancer-related deaths annually.15-19
An increasing number of studies also suggest that consuming a diet rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative disease.20-22
And, when it comes to cognitive performance, food beats supplements. Supplements should be used to boost nutrient intake, not replace whole food sources.
Finally, an eating pattern rich in produce can help you more easily control your weight. This effect is thanks to their fiber and water content, which helps fill you up on fewer calories. An entire head of cauliflower, for example, contains only about 150 calories.23,24
What does this mean for you?
No one fruit or veggie is king. Rather than sticking to one magic powerfood—for example, eating blueberries every single day—aim for a variety. Try to eat a wide rainbow of colors everyday
References in principle 5