Nutrients found in fresh fruits and veggies may help your body heal faster and better, according to a new study.
The findings, which were published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, could help you get the nutrients you need from fruits and produce a healthier diet.
The team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied a group of people over a six-month period.
They found that fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with improvements in biomarkers of immune function, cardiovascular function and metabolic health.
“Our findings suggest that a low intake of fruits and fruits juices is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr Ravi Prasad, a professor of clinical nutrition and co-author of the study.
“In other words, people who eat a low-calorie diet tend to be healthier than those who eat more than they need to.”
While the researchers also found that consumption of fruits or vegetables may increase the amount of vitamin B12 in the body, the study did not prove that eating a lot of fruits caused more of that vitamin to be made in the liver.
Instead, they said that the results were consistent with previous research.
“If you eat a lot and you’re really sensitive to vitamin B6, you may be getting less of that, but that’s not necessarily the case, because we have other research showing that people who consume the highest levels of vitamin D tend to have higher levels of B12,” said Prasand.
“Vitamin B12 is important because of the ability it has to help maintain normal levels of the body’s other nutrients, like iron and zinc.”
While eating lots of fruits was associated to better health, eating a low calorie diet also appeared to be associated with higher levels in the blood of vitamin K, which is also associated with improved immune function.
Ketones found in fruits are thought to be important for energy and growth, and may help with the healing process, said Prisand.
Keto is a diet that involves eating a limited amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved nearly 200 people over the course of three months.
The researchers found that people with the lowest levels of intake of fruit and vegetables had the greatest benefit from a ketogenic diet.
“It’s not the calories, it’s the quality of the fruits and the vegetables that you get,” said Ravi.
“You get the right balance of vitamin, minerals, protein and fibre.”