Appendix 5. Health Benefits

And Top Ten Reasons Vegetables and Fruits are Important

Nutritional reasons

  1. Major source of dietary fiber.
  2. Natural nutraceuticals for human health.
  3. Provides essential vitamins and minerals for good health.

Consumer reasons

  1. Offers dietary diversity in tastes and natural colors in foods.
  2. Natural flavors and textures for dining enjoyment.
  3. Simple to prepare, convenient to eat, and offers “fun foods”.
  4. Fills niche markets and provides ethnic foods.

Economic reasons

  1. Maximize use of good climates, soils, and water resources.
  2. Provide profitable jobs for rural people and farm families.
  3. Offers alternatives and economic strengths for rural communities.

Nutritional factoids:

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of healthful products.
To name a few:

  • antioxidants-onions and garlic
  • beta carotene-carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens
  • folic acid-dried beans, oranges, and spinach
  • indoles-broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
  • lutein-kale and spinach
  • lycopene-tomatoes and watermelons

Growing a healthy garden (notes from Dr. Doug Welsh, Extension Horticulturist)

A small garden, using transplants, can supply your family with health products


  • plant 10 feet of row per person for the winter season
  • allow 65 to 100 days to maturity


  • plant 10 to 20 feet of row per person, matures in 65 to 110 days


  • plant 5 to 10 feet of row per person and harvest in 65 to 90 days

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