Mom’s advice was right- Eat Your Veggies (and fruit)
Why Eat Veggies?
This may sound like a no-brainer, but eating veggies (and fruits) is one of the most important and available sources of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other superfood ingredients (i.e. fight cancer and help boost your immune system) and fibre.
6-10 servings of fruit and eating veggies per day should be your goal!
You want to pick a variety of colours and different families of veggies and fruits to ensure you get a variety of nutrients (i.e. eating veggies from the cruciferous family like broccoli, cauliflower, kale because they have different cancer fighting properties than berries do, but both are important to include!)
If you cook your veggies, steam, gently stir fry or bake instead of frying or microwaving, which deplete nutrients. My favourite way to cook veggies is to slice a variety of vegetables of different colours ( green beans, carrots, yam, cauliflower, spinach, pumpkin) and gently steam them and then serve on a plate drizzled with olive oil and spices–it makes a super colourful feast!
Choose organic whenever you can for eating veggies–especially with produce that does not have a skin or peel that can be removed before eating. The pesticide loads of different fruits and vegetables varies, but the foods with the highest pesticide loads are the ones you want to be sure you buy organic.
For a fantastic discussion of this in detail as well as the science behind why we need to eat a variety of fruits and veggies read Anti-Cancer: A Newy Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D.