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Guest Blog: The Important Functions of Fruits and Veggies


By Dr. Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, founder of Hispanic Food Communications

We all know how important fruits and vegetables can be in our diet, but do you know why? Fortunately, we’ve got you covered! Eating the rainbow (including white and black) can be a delicious way to prevent chronic disease and improve overall health. Let’s take a closer look at several valuable vitamins and minerals in common fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a key nutrient that functions as an antioxidant in your body. This antioxidant protects from certain cancers, prevents heart disease, and even aids in wound healing. Vitamin C can also support a healthy immune system during the winter season. It is easy to get your daily value of this vitamin with a kale salad or a cup of strawberries. Other high sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, chili peppers, and parsley.


Every cell in your body needs this mineral to function properly. Magnesium is involved in energy creation, muscle contraction, and nervous system management. Including magnesium in your daily diet can improve energy levels and even boost your mood! Even with its amazing benefits, this mineral can be easy to leave out. A salad with leafy greens, avocado toast, or a banana in a smoothie is a great way to increase your magnesium intake.

Vitamin A 

You might have heard that vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, but do you know its other benefits? While it aids in vision, this vitamin plays an important role in cell growth and development which can decrease your risk of certain cancers. Vitamin A comes in two forms, preformed vitamin A and provitamin A. The form found in fruits and vegetables is provitamin A and its sources include sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, and kale. A hearty soup with kale, squash, and carrots is a delicious way to reap all the benefits.


Along with magnesium, zinc is an important mineral involved in various processes in the body. This mineral aids in protein formation which can boost exercise performance and help maintain a healthy immune system. Vegetables like potatoes and kale can add zinc to any diet.

If you are looking at more appetizing ways to include fruits and vegetables into your diet, contact a registered dietitian for more information.

Learn more about produce safety and nutrition at safefruitsandveggies.comand @safeproduce

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