Key #2: Eat Mostly Plants

Dr. Frank Hu’s team at the Harvard School of Public Health published a research paper that caught my attention. Dr. Hu combined hundreds of individual studies (creating a “meta” study) to determine if there is a relationship between the amount of fruits and vegetables that someone eats and how they die. His analysis tracked more than 833,000 people.

He found that for each serving of fruits and vegetables you eat, your risk of dying from a chronic disease decreased. Interestingly, after five servings of fruits and vegetables, the risk did not decrease any more. So if you get five servings every day, you’re good to go!

The primary benefit of eating a diet based mostly on plants is to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your diet. These have anti-oxidant properties that help to keep you healthy. Excessive oxidation of molecules in the body can affect their structure and function. Think of this like when metal is exposed to oxygen in the air it can rust. You see this quickly if you’ve cut open an apple and left it exposed to air and seen the pulp turn brown. The scientific term for this process is oxidative stress. Anti-oxidants slow and minimize this process in our bodies.

One of the best best-known anti-oxidants is Vitamin C, but other vitamins such as the vitamin E family act as anti-oxidants. Foods that are high in vitamin C include bell peppers, guava fruit, leafy green vegetables, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas. Foods high in vitamin E include tofu, spinach, nuts, seeds, avocado, shellfish, cold-water fish, plant oils (like olive oil), broccoli, and squash and pumpkin.

When you head into the dining hall or your kitchen at home, keep your eyes open for bright colours. Grab an apple at lunch, a handful of carrots for snacks, and eat your veggies at dinner.

Today's POWER-UP: Learn some great vegetarian meals

INTERESTED IN EATING MORE PLANT-BASED MEALS? CHECK OUT RICH ROLL’S COOKBOOK THE PLANT POWERED WAY FOR SOME TERRIFIC RECIPES. HTTPS://WWW.RICHROLL.COM/THE-PLANTPOWER-WAY/

ANOTHER GO-TO COOKBOOK IN OUR FAMILY IS OH SHE GLOWS BY ANGELA LINDON. HTTP://OHSHEGLOWS.COM/THE-BOOK/