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The Fountain of Youth

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The fountain of youth is at our fingertips. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, little free-radical scavengers that just may be our fountain of youth. Antioxidants exert many positive effects on the body.

The fountain of youth is at our fingertips. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, little free-radical scavengers that just may be our fountain of youth.

Antioxidants exert many positive effects on the body. What you don't know about fruits and vegetables may surprise you.

About 40 percent of people do not eat five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day according to the V8 Survey in 2003. However, the survey also found that 60 percent of Canadians are planning to eat more fruits and vegetables. What could be their reason for wanting to increase their fruit and vegetable intake?

Muscle Food

Did you know that fruits can promote muscle recovery after a workout? In 1998 researchers from Pennsylvania State University found this to be true. Muscle strength and length tend to reduce with age but antioxidants in fruits can help prevent this muscle loss.

With age, humans also notice degradation of the neuronal system as seen with age-related dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. The Journal of Neuroscience (September 1999) reported that supplementation with antioxidant-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, may reverse the course of neuronal and behavioural aging. Antioxidants are also thought to prevent free-radical damage in the brain thereby preventing damage that occurs naturally with age.

Carcinogenesis (December 1999) published a study that illustrated the cancer-preventing potential of fruits and vegetables. This and many other scientific studies have made convincing arguments that fruits and vegetables do in fact play a role in the prevention of cancer. Both Canada and the United States back this claim.

Eating fruits and vegetables may truly be our fountain of youth as they promote muscle recovery, reduce neuronal aging, and reduce the risk of cancer. However, despite these facts many Canadians do not eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Excuses range from a lack of knowledge about fruit and vegetable preparation to the lack of carrot sticks and apples in fast food restaurants.

Regardless, our lack of fruit and vegetable consumption may arguably be blamed as a key factor to the many health problems we face today. How do we increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables? A study in the Public Health Nutrition Journal of Denmark (April 2004) noted that by simply offering attractive vegetable and fruit options on the canteen lunch menu there was a significant increase in total fruit and vegetable consumption.

Our fountain of youth is not hiding in secret caverns in the desert. Antioxidants truly hold the power of health. Share the wealth of knowledge. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and enjoy health.

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