Turns out your mom was right – even in a world with every possible dietary supplement and multivitamin, nothing beats fruit and vegetables for a nutritious, balanced diet.

Consider:

Fruit and vegetables supply protective substances such as vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.

Vitamins A, C and E are natural antioxidants that also support visual, skin and immune system health.

The Key to Good Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetables

Sweet potatoes, carrot juice, pumpkins, cooked greens and beets have potassium to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Sweet potatoes and pumpkins are rich in beta carotene, which helps to protect your vision and boost your immune system, and in vitamins B, C and E.

Strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, red peppers and broccoli are all high in vitamin C, which helps build your immune system, heal wounds and keep teeth healthy.

Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, collard or mustard greens, and some lettuce varieties, are high in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, which boost your immune system. They also contain calcium and iron, which support blood and bone health.

Apples and blueberries are nutrient and antioxidant-rich fruits with high fiber content. Apples are especially important for lowering cholesterol; blueberries have cardio-protective and cancer-preventive properties.

For the most nutritional value, eat five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid frozen or canned produce, which loses its nutritional value in processing.

And remember -- according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is healthier to get nutrients from whole foods than from a pill.

References:
Healthcastle.com, eHow.com

By Kindred Healthcare