The Vital Role of Fruits and Veggies in Health and Fitness

Fruits Veggies

Embarking on a fitness journey and navigating the sea of nutrition advice can be daunting. Amidst the countless tips and tricks, one piece of advice stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness: eat more fruits and vegetables. Let’s explore why.

What’s So Great About Fruits and Veggies?

Fruits and vegetables are often described as nature’s multivitamin, and for good reason. They are nutrient-dense foods, meaning they are high in essential nutrients and relatively low in calories. They’re loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, K, potassium, and folate, that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. Besides these, fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients – compounds produced by plants that have various beneficial effects on human health. Many of these nutrients, like flavonoids and carotenoids, act as powerful antioxidants, helping to protect the body’s cells from damage.

Moreover, they offer unique health-promoting substances that can’t be replicated in a pill. For instance, the phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables help in reducing inflammation, regulating cell growth, and supporting your immune system. They are also beneficial for your skin and eye health. The beta carotene in carrots and sweet potatoes, for example, is converted into vitamin A in the body, which helps maintain healthy skin and eyes.

Fruits, Veggies, and Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, fruits and vegetables can be your best allies. They are high in dietary fiber, which not only aids in digestion but also increases feelings of fullness. This means you are less likely to feel hungry between meals and less likely to overeat, which can support weight management. Besides, dietary fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels, preventing sudden spikes and crashes that can lead to cravings.

Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in volume, which can help you feel full without consuming too many calories. This is particularly helpful if you are trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Also, many fruits and vegetables have high water content, which further contributes to feelings of fullness and hydration.

Fruits, Veggies, and Muscle Gain

While protein-rich foods often steal the spotlight in muscle-building discussions, fruits and vegetables play a significant yet often overlooked role. They provide crucial micronutrients that support muscle function and recovery. For instance, Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries, is necessary for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that plays a crucial role in the structure and function of connective tissues within muscle.

Moreover, fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which are necessary to combat exercise-induced oxidative stress. During exercise, your body’s oxygen consumption increases, leading to a rise in free radicals – harmful compounds that can damage cells. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals, reducing muscle damage and inflammation and promoting faster recovery.

Moreover, some fruits and vegetables, like bananas and potatoes, are rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in muscle contractions and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in body cells. It’s particularly important in preventing muscle cramps during and after workouts.

In a nutshell, while fruits and vegetables might not build muscles directly like protein-rich foods, they provide essential nutrients for overall health and wellness, support workout recovery, and create an optimal environment for muscle growth and function.

How to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

  1. Make Smoothies: Combining fruits and even some vegetables (like spinach or kale) in a smoothie is an easy and delicious way to increase your intake. They’re great for breakfast or a snack.
  2. Snack on Fruit: Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the counter or in the fridge for when you’re feeling hungry. Apple slices, bananas, and berries are all great choices.
  3. Add Veggies to Breakfast: Try adding vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, or bell peppers to your eggs in the morning. You can also mix fruits into your cereal or oatmeal.
  4. Colorful Salads: Make your salads more interesting by adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. The more colors you have, the wider the range of nutrients you’re likely to get.
  5. Fruit Desserts: Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. Grilled pineapple, baked apples, or berries with a dollop of whipped cream can serve as healthier dessert options.
  6. Cook More at Home: When you prepare your own meals, you have complete control over what goes in them. Make it a point to include at least one serving of vegetables with each meal.
  7. Half Your Plate: Make it a goal to fill at least half your plate with fruits or vegetables. This can help ensure you’re getting enough servings each day.
  8. Veggie-Based Soups: Making soups based on vegetables like tomatoes, butternut squash, or broccoli is a comforting and filling way to increase your vegetable intake.
  9. Include in Snacks: Try snacking on carrot sticks, cucumber, or bell peppers with a healthy dip like hummus.
  10. Try New Recipes: Use this as an opportunity to explore new recipes. You might find that you love vegetables you’ve never tried before when they’re prepared in a new way.

How I Get More Fruits & Veggies

I find that it can be hard to get in enough fruits and veggies into my diet sometimes. Especially if I’m out of the house and running around. So the 2 ways that I’ll try is by making smoothie or drinking green juices.

Green Juices

Green juices are great, because you can find them almost anywhere nowadays and they’re super fast to drink. The main thing to pay attention to would be the sugar content, which runs a little high. A couple a my go-to green juices are the ones from Trader Joe’s or Pressed Juicery (at the actual locations cause the store-bought are pretty high in sugar too).

The only downside of green juices is that it lacks the fiber that smoothies provide, but it is definitely a lot easier to stick to when you’re on the go or travelling.


My favorite thing about smoothie is how versatile they can be. You can get a huge amount of nutrition in from a single smoothie and personalize it to your taste preferences and dietary needs.

For example, my smoothie recipe looks like:

  • 1-2 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 2 humongous handfuls of salad mix (I like the Power Greens from Costco)
  • 6-8 ounces of water
  • Cacao powder
  • 1-2 scoops of protein powder
  • Any other powdered supplements I need to get in

It’s hands down the most nutrient-dense meal of the day for me. Plus it takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

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