Skip to main content

Live Longer and Healthier - Eat Fruits and Veggies

Study after study consistently shows people eating diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables live longer and healthier.

Recent studies out of Wayne State University and Florida International University have focused on three antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables - lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Lycopene is the red pigment found in tomatoes.

Lycopene intake has an inverse relationship to prostate cancer; it has been found to protect against the occurrence of prostate cancer and against the spread of prostate cancer. The more lycopene, the less cancer, and if cancer is present, the tumors are smaller and less likely to spread beyond the prostate. Prostate cancer patients treated with lycopene measured higher levels of cancer-inhibiting chemicals in their blood.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are commonly found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale as well as broccoli and squash. They have been found to protect against age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among our older population.

The macula has the highest levels of lutein of any tissue in the body, and people with the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to have a 75 percent lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. Patients who were supplemented with even low doses of lutein (2.4 mg per day) increased their levels of macular pigment by 20 to 300 percent.

It should never be a surprise a good diet prevents disease. Since deficiency is one of the two causes of disease, when cells are supplied with all the nutrients they need, they will function as they should; disease will be prevented and even reversed.