Q: I know I’m supposed to eat 5 fruits and vegetables every day, but I hate vegetables. Can I just eat fruits instead?
– Elaine in San Diego
A: Eating lots of fruit is better than not eating fruits AND vegetables, and it will compensate to some extent for the lack of broccoli and spinach, but fruits are not identical to vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables contain vitamins C and beta carotene, but some antioxidant phytochemicals are found only in vegetables. For example, the cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower contain sulforaphane that boosts the production of anti-cancer enzymes. Rather than eliminate vegetables, add vegetables into favorite foods such as adding green peas to soup or layer spinach into lasagna. Drink your vegetables by snacking on tomato juice or V8. Experiment with different ways to eat vegetables, such as eating carrots raw, grating them into salads or tacos, or steaming them with a little ginger and honey. -Elizabeth Somer