Did you know that eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits can actually help prevent certain chronic diseases and conditions? Not only do fruits and vegetables help you maintain a healthy weight and general well-being, they can help save your life. Here are some of the diseases and conditions fruits and vegetables can help you avoid:

Cardiovascular Disease

As the world’s leading killer, heart disease is a serious issue for everyone. Fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke, but the best fighters of heart disease (and keeping it away) are green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol

Many workers are faced daily with the challenges and struggles of high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. While it isn’t completed understood how fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol, it is believed that the soluble fiber in them helps block the absorption of cholesterol from other foods.

Cancer

Research and tests suggest that eating more fruit can lower the risk of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and lungs, and can reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, colon, larynx, kidney, and bladder.

Gastrointestinal Conditions

There are indigestible fibers in certain fruits and vegetables that are important for preventing intestinal ailments. When fiber passes through the digestive system, it soaks up water and expends—this process can calm irritable bowels and decrease pressure inside the intestinal tract.

Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

A cataract, which is usually associated with aging, is the gradual clouding of the eye’s lens. Macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina is damaged. In order to protect your eyes, you should eat dark green leafy vegetables because they contain two pigments that will aid in protecting your eyes. In order to stimulate night vision and to protect that ability, you should eat carrots, cantaloupe, and pumpkin because of the Vitamin A.

Birth Defects

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are defects of a baby’s brain or spine that can be prevented if a woman has enough folate, found in B vitamins in her body before becoming pregnant. The folate or folic acid is used by the body to make new cells and can be found in asparagus, cooked spinach, and certain fortified breakfast cereals.

Fruits and vegetables can also help prevent other diseases and conditions like coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, dental issues, and skin infections. So the next time you get hungry or want a snack, consider a fruit or a vegetable!