Listing of Fruits and Vegetables

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Fruit and vegetables are an important part of one's diet.
Fruit and vegetables are an important part of one's diet. (Image: fruit and vegetables image by photo25th from Fotolia.com)

Eating fruits and vegetables is an important factor in being healthy. There are many types of fruits and vegetables, all nutritional, disease-fighting and helpful in losing or maintaining weight. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends five servings each day. These foods are divided into the categories of vegetables, fruits and legumes. The color of what a person eats is helpful in determining what health benefits each food has.

Fruit

Fruit, which is commonly eaten raw or used in baking, is divided into several varieties. These include melons (such as watermelon), berries (including raspberries and passionfruit), pears, apples, avocados, tomatoes, citrus (such as oranges and limes), exotic and tropical (including bananas), and stonefruit (such as apricots and plums). Citrus fruits in particular are helpful in preventing strokes and heart attacks.

Apples are a common fruit.
Apples are a common fruit. (Image: apple image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com)

Vegetables

Vegetables, eaten cooked or raw, are classified biologically into families, or groups. These are cruciferous (including brussels sprouts and broccoli), root (such as potatoes), allium (including onions and garlic), leafy green (such as lettuce), marrow (including pumpkin) and edible plant stems (like celery). According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a 2007 study by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found that "non-starchy" vegetables may prevent several types of cancer.

Lettuce is classified as a "leafy green" vegetable.
Lettuce is classified as a "leafy green" vegetable. (Image: lettuce image by robert lerich from Fotolia.com)

Legumes

Legumes must be cooked and have many health benefits when eaten, especially helpful with digestion. They contain more protein than other vegetables, although their nutritional value is lower. These include peas and dried beans (such as lentils and chickpeas), fresh peas and beans (including green beans), legume flours and soy products (such as tofu).

Beans are a common legume.
Beans are a common legume. (Image: beans image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Colors

The color of a fruit, vegetable or legume is indicative of its health benefits. Red foods like tomatoes contain a chemical called lycopene, which is believed to help fight heart disease. Purple or blue foods contain anthocyanins, white foods have sulforaphane, and green food contains zeaxanthin and lutein. All of these chemicals are thought to help reduce the risk of a variety of diseases.

Colors indicate a fruit, vegetable or legume's potential health benefits.
Colors indicate a fruit, vegetable or legume's potential health benefits. (Image: fruit and vegetables on a pile studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

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