Quantcast

5 Ways Fruit and Veggies Can Replace Medications

Food

If you’d rather eat fresh fruit or a carrot than pop a pill to stay healthy, go for it. Increasing research indicates that a diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables could be as good or better for you than drugs when it comes to controlling or eliminating some diseases and illnesses.

If you want to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and improve digestive health eat a diet includes apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits, as well as fatty fish, soybeans, vegetable oils rather than butter or lard, nuts, beans, oats and barley.

Here are five ways eating fresh fruits and veggies could make you healthier than medications you may be taking:

1. Statins

Oxford University researchers have found that eating a piece of fruit each day significantly lowers the likelihood of a heart attack. In fact, “eating even one piece of fruit each day lowered the risk of a heart attack or stroke by one third over a seven year period,” a result that’s as significant as taking a statin, but without the side effects. Many people complain of side effects from statins, including muscle pains, weakness and fatigue, reported the Telegraph. The side effects from fruit? More energy, more vitamins and minerals and more fiber in the diet.

2. Insulin

Eating at least three servings per week of apples, blueberries or grapes lowers the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who eat less of these fruits (Note: Fruit juice, with its high glycemic content, increases diabetes risk by as much as 21 percent). If you already have diabetes, talk to your doctor about whether increasing the amount of fruit you eat and making other dietary changes will reduce your need to take insulin. This study found that 90 percent of diabetics who changed diets to include more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans were able to come off all diabetic medications.

3. Cholesterol Drugs (Statins and Others)

“Shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin,” reports Harvard University. If you want to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and improve digestive health eat a diet includes apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits, as well as fatty fish, soybeans, vegetable oils rather than butter or lard, nuts, beans, oats and barley. If you need an example, read this inspiring story of how a woman avoided medication completely by changing her diet.

4. Laxatives

Replace over-the-counter laxatives and fiber mixes with fruits and vegetables high in fiber. Leave the skins on apples, pears, peaches and other fruits. Choose fibrous vegetables like cabbage, beans, broccoli and beets. And of course, drink lots of water.

5. Multivitamins

A set of studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that multivitamins have shown no health benefits. On the other hand, people who eat seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a 42 percent lower risk of death than those who eat less than one portion, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

“We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering,” said Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of UCL’s Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, lead author of the study. “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference. If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.”

By the way, as helpful as fruits and vegetables are, there are some foods you absolutely should not mix with certain medications. Talk with your doctor when you make dietary changes and review this list from Consumer Reports.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

12 Fruits and Veggies You Should Always Buy Organic

9 Health Benefits to Adding Avocado Oil to Your Diet

8 Weight Loss Tips You Should Ignore

9 Different Kinds of Salt: Which Is the Healthiest?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pick one of these nine activism styles, and you can start making change. YES! Illustrations by Delphine Lee

By Cathy Brown

Most of us have heard about UN researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair.

Read More Show Less
Jamie Grill Photography / Getty Images

Losing weight, improving heart health and decreasing your chances for metabolic diseases like diabetes may be as simple as cutting back on a handful of Oreos or saying no to a side of fries, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
A boy gives an impromptu speech about him not wanting to die in the next 10 years during the protest on July 15. The Scottish wing of the Extinction Rebellion environmental group of Scotland locked down Glasgow's Trongate for 12 hours in protest of climate change. Stewart Kirby / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

It's important to remember that one person can make a difference. From teenagers to world-renowned scientists, individuals are inspiring positive shifts around the world. Maybe you won't become a hard-core activist, but this list of people below can inspire simple ways to kickstart better habits. Here are seven people advocating for a better planet.

Read More Show Less
A group of wind turbines in a field in Banffshire, Northeast Scotland. Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Scotland produced enough power from wind turbines in the first half of 2019, that it could power Scotland twice over. Put another way, it's enough energy to power all of Scotland and most of Northern England, according to the BBC — an impressive step for the United Kingdom, which pledged to be carbon neutral in 30 years.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Beekeeper Jeff Anderson works with members of his family in this photo from 2014. He once employed all of his adult children but can no longer afford to do so. CHRIS JORDAN-BLOCH / EARTHJUSTICE

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

It's been a particularly terrible summer for bees. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is allowing the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor back on the market. And just a few weeks prior, the USDA announced it is suspending data collection for its annual honeybee survey, which tracks honeybee populations across the U.S., providing critical information to farmers and scientists.

Read More Show Less

tommaso79 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rachel Licker

As a new mom, I've had to think about heat safety in many new ways since pregnant women and young children are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to get confused about which foods are healthy and which aren't.

Read More Show Less