Over the following months, I will be sharing Fruits and Vegetables that hold many nutritional benefits, what they contain, how they help our bodies to function and the health benefits we gain by eating or adding them to our diets….

I love pretty much all fruit and Veg but some I do steer clear from due to tummy issues. There are so many nutrients to be found in all plant based foods so why not try adding something new to your regime and keep the insides working and the outside glowing!

A is for APPLE

An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with!

Health benefits & Apples…
As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a “miracle food” but what makes this fruit so special?

In fact, apples were ranked first in Medical News Today’s featured article about the top 10 healthy foods.

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fibre.

The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

Health benefits & Apples…

As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a “miracle food”.
In fact, apples were ranked first in Medical News Today’s featured article about the top 10 healthy foods.
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fibre.
The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

A collection of research studies suggests that apples may well be one of the healthiest foods for you to include in your daily diet.
Improves neurological health
Prevents dementia
Lowers levels of bad cholesterol
Reducing your risk of diabetes

Research has found “the growing evidence that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, including apples, would provide consumers with more phenolics, which are proving to have important health benefits.

Apples contain almost no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
Apples deserve to be called “nutritional powerhouses”.

They contain the following important nutrients:

Vitamin C – a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents.
B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) – these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
Dietary fibre – the British National Health Service says that a diet high in fibre can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
Phytonutrients – apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds”. These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals. And we know how these damage our skin and health!

As well as containing Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, Apples, with skin (edible parts) nutritional values include a variety of nutrients…
Fat, Protein , Water, Sodium, Beta-carotene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Thiamin (vitamin B1) , Vitamin A equiv, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Niacin (vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) Vitamin B6 , Folate (vitamin B9)
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin K
Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium
Energy – 52 kcal Carbohydrates – 13.81 g


Asparagus, officially known as Asparagus officinalis, and is a member of the lily family.

This popular vegetable comes in a variety of colours, including green, white and purple.

It’s used in dishes around the world, including frittatas, pastas and stir-fries.

Asparagus is also low in calories and packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidant and boasts an impressive nutrient profile.

Asparagus also possesses small amounts of other micronutrients, including iron, zinc and riboflavin.

It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health.

In addition, asparagus is high in folate, a nutrient that is vital for a healthy pregnancy and many important processes in the body, including cell growth and DNA formation.

Good Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.Asparagus, like other green vegetables, is high in antioxidants.

These include vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols.

What’s more, purple asparagus contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which give the vegetable its vibrant color and have antioxidant effects in the body.

Eating asparagus along with other fruits and vegetables can provide your body with a range of antioxidants to promote good health.

Can Improve Digestive Health
Dietary fibre is essential for good digestive health. Just half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fibre, which is 7% of your daily needs.

Asparagus is particularly high in insoluble fibre, which adds bulk to stool and supports regular bowel movements.

It also contains a small amount of soluble fibre, which dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract.

Soluble fibre feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.

Increasing the number of these beneficial bacteria plays a role in strengthening the immune system and producing essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and K2.

Eating asparagus as part of a fibre-rich diet is an excellent way to help meet your fibre needs and keep your digestive system healthy.

Helps Support a Healthy Pregnancy
Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, also known as vitamin B9.Just half a cup of asparagus provides adults with 34% of their daily folate needs and pregnant women with 22% of their daily needs.

Folate is an essential nutrient that helps form red blood cells and produce DNA for healthy growth and development.

It’s especially important during the early stages of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby.

Helps Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects more than 1.3 billion people worldwide and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Research suggests that increasing potassium intake while reducing salt intake is an effective way to lower high blood pressure.

Potassium lowers blood pressure in two ways: by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and excreting excess salt through urine.

Asparagus is a good source of potassium, providing 6% of your daily requirement in a half-cup serving>

Eating more potassium-rich vegetables, such as asparagus, is a great way to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

Just half a cup (90 grams) of cooked asparagus contains :
Calories: 20 Protein: 2.2 grams Fat: 0.2 grams Fibre: 1.8 grams

Asparagus also possesses small amounts of other micronutrients, including iron, zinc and riboflavin.
It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health.


Although some would consider them a vegetable, they are actually a variety of thistle

Artichokes are a versatile food, and although some would consider them a vegetable, they are actually a variety of thistle.

For nutritional purposes, they are primarily consumed due to their associated benefits of bolstering the immune system strength, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Artichokes have also long been famous for detoxifying the body and improving the health of the liver and aiding in digestive issues like indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diarrhea. They also have anti-cancer potential, besides reducing blood pressure, eliminating hangovers, and stimulating urination.

Nutritional Value of Artichokes
Artichokes are low in saturated fat and cholesterol while being a rich source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
They contain vitamins which include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, B-12, A, E, D, and vitamin K. They also provide minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Health Benefits of Artichokes
The common health benefits of these thistles are mentioned in detail below.
Cancer Prevention
Artichokes have the highest antioxidant levels out of all vegetables, and out of 1,000 plants of different types of foods, they ranked 7th in antioxidant content. Antioxidants are one of the prmary means of defence for the immune system against the effects of free radicals, which are natural by-products of cell metabolism that can lead to a number of dangerous conditions and diseases in the body.
The antioxidant properties of artichokes come from a number of sources, one of which are polyphenols, which are found in high numbers in them. Their antioxidant ability comes from another source as well, their high levels of quercetin and rutin, two specific antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the chances of developing cancer.

Vitamin C is also a well-known antioxidant and it is found in significant levels in artichokes Vitamin C has been shown to actively discourage conditions like mucositis and fibrosis, and also to reduce the chances of breast cancer.

Improved Heart Health
Artichokes are considered a heart-healthy addition to your diet for a variety of reasons. Certain ingredients in their leaves have been found to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL or omega-3 fatty acids). Cholesterol is a type of fat that builds up in the arteries of the cardiovascular system, blocks blood flow, increases blood pressure, and can lead to potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes.
Any method of reducing bad cholesterol is worthwhile, so give artichokes a chance at improving your heart health.

Artichokes are rich sources of potassium, the essential mineral that has an impact on numerous organ systems throughout the body. Potassium helps to neutralize the effects of excess sodium, which is notorious for increasing blood pressure.

Artichokes, therefore, act as a vasodilator and are particularly useful for those already taking hypertension medicines to prevent the effects of potassium deficiency. Diabetics are also encouraged to eat artichokes to prevent the complications associated with blood pressure and that disease. Finally, a reduction in blood pressure can reduce the chances of heart attacks and coronary heart diseases.

Improved Liver Health
Artichokes were used as liver tonics for centuries, but the exact mechanism of their impact was never fully understood until modern science could properly research this versatile plant. Two antioxidants found in artichokes, cynarin and silymarin, have been shown to improve the overall health of the liver by reducing the presence of toxins and facilitating their elimination from the liver and the body.

Smooth Bowel Movements
Artichokes are a rich source of dietary fibre, which is one of the most beneficial nutritional staples for improving the health and functionality of your digestive system. Fibre adds bulk to the food you eat, which helps to keep your bowel movements regular and decrease the symptoms of constipation.

Fibre can ease bloating, cramps, excess flatulence, and general discomfort in the stomach. Furthermore, if you have problems with loose stool or diarrhoea, fibre can absorb excess liquid and form healthy, predictable bowel movements in patients.

Fibre also acts as a clean up crew for excess LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), thereby cleaning your arteries and further reducing your chances of heart diseases.Another extra benefit of artichokes in terms of digestion is its impact on the gallbladder. Artichokes soothe inflamed gallbladders and can solve the common problem of a blocked duct in the organ, thereby allowing normal function. Therefore, in a way, artichokes can be said to stimulate the production and secretion of gastric juices, as well as bile, which also aids in smooth digestion.

Hangover Cure
As mentioned earlier, artichokes can be a great salve to the liver and can reduce any blockage, as well as reduce the levels of toxins in the blood by eliminating them quickly. Therefore, artichokes make a perfect hangover cure. Some people choose to chew on a few artichoke leaves after a night of heavy drinking.

Increased Bone Mineral Density
Artichokes are one of the best foods in the market for acquiring vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. These minerals are essential parts of increasing bone health and density, thereby reducing the chances of conditions like osteoporosis.

Boosted Metabolism
Magnesium and manganese are essential parts of the body’s metabolic processes and they are found in a significant amount in artichokes. Magnesium is an important part of protein synthesis throughout the body, as well as optimizing the intake of calcium by the body, further strengthening the bones. Manganese is slightly more involved than magnesium, and it impacts the metabolic rates of cholesterol, amino acids, and carbohydrates.

Improved Brain Function
There are a number of aspects of artichokes that make them beneficial for brain health. Their quality as a vasodilator allows more oxygen to reach the brain for elevated cognitive function. Phosphorus, an essential mineral found in artichokes, is found in the brain cells. Phosphorous deficiencies have been associated with a serious decline in cognitive ability, so if you want to keep your brain healthy and firing on all cylinders, eat the next artichoke you see.

As you can see from the impressive list of nutrients, from just these three alone that fruit and vegetables do add amazing benefits to our health…

A is for AVOCADO

Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects to our health.

HEALTH BENEFITS of the Avocado

The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit.

Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats.

Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects to our health.

Here are 12 health benefits of avocado, that are supported by scientific research.

Avocado is Incredibly Nutritious.

What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana .

This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavour and rich texture.

It is the main ingredient in guacamole.

These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a super food… which is not surprising given its health properties.

There are many kinds of avocados and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and colour (from green to black) can vary between them.

They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220 grams) to 3 pounds (1.4 kg).

The most popular type is called Hass avocado. t is often called “alligator pear,” which is very descriptive because it tends to be shaped like a pear and have green, bumpy skin… like an alligator.

The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded.Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving:

• Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.

• Folate: 20% of the RDA

.• Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA

.• Potassium: 14% of the RDA

.• Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA

.• Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA

.• Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.

Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats.

Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fibre so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.

Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat. I personally don’t think that matters, but this is one of the reasons they are favoured by many “old school” experts who still believe these things are inherently harmful.

They Contain More Potassium than Bananas

Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of.

This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.

Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food.

Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

Avocado is loaded with Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Again, avocado is a high fat food.In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.

But they don’t just contain any fat… the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid.

This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.

Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.

Avocados Are Loaded With Fibre

Fibre is another nutrient found in relatively large amounts in avocado.

Fibre is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases.

A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fibre.Soluble fibre is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which are very important for the optimal function of our bodies.

A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fibre, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.About 25% of the fibre in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble.

Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world.It is known that several blood markers are linked to an increased risk.

This includes cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood pressure and various others.

Studies have shown that avocados can:

• Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly

.• Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.

• Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.

• Increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.

One of the studies showed that including avocado in a low-fat vegetarian diet led to improvements in the cholesterol profile.

Unfortunately, all of the human studies were small (13-37 subjects) and short-term (1-4 weeks), but the results were impressive nonetheless.

The Fat in Them Can Help You Absorb Nutrients from Plant Foods

When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters.

We also need to be able to absorb them… move them from the digestive tract and into the body, where they can be used.Some nutrients are “fat soluble,” meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized.

This includes vitamins A, D, E and K… along with antioxidants like carotenoids.

One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15-fold.

So… not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.

This is an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies. Without it, a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.

Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect the Eyes

Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves.

This includes nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health.

Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly.

Therefore, eating avocados should have benefits for eye health over the long term.

Avocado Extract May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries.

There are many types of arthritis, and these are often chronic problems that people have for the rest of their lives.

Multiple studies have shown that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis.

Whether avocados themselves can have this effect, and not just the extract, remains to be seen.

Avocado is Delicious and Easy to Incorporate in The Diet

Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods.

You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain.

They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients

I have to say that using Avocado in recipes such a smoothies is great – but you can’t beat plain avo and hard boiled egg salad!

Recommended Articles