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According to Dr. Joseph M. Mercola (Licensed Physician and Surgeon), "only about one-quarter of American adults eat three or more servings of vegetables a day. If you are in the majority who does not, you are missing out on major benefits, as consuming fresh vegetables is one of the key cornerstones to optimal health. Dr. Mercola argues that we all need to eat large amounts of fresh, high-quality vegetables every day to achieve high-level health. Some of us need far more than others. In fact, vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else. Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA."

Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have: Lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease Lower risks of certain types of cancer, eye diseases and digestive problems Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss Higher scores on cognitive tests Higher antioxidant levels Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress

Dr Mercola further affirms, 'if you eat your veggies raw, you'll also be receiving biophotons, the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in, and used by all biological organisms -- including your body. Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons. They contain important bio-information, which controls complex vital processes in your body. The biophotons have the power to order and regulate, and, in doing so, to elevate the organism -- in this case, your physical body -- to a higher oscillation or order. Generally, the more sunlight a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is.'

Dr Mercola is of the view that 'naturally-grown fresh vegetables, raw sprouts, and sun-ripened fruits are rich in light energy. Ideally, look for fresh, non-GMO produce that is organically grown on a local farm in your area. Choose the vegetables that appear freshest first, and consume them raw shortly after purchase for optimal benefits. However, He warns that if one can't obtain organic, conventionally-grown vegetables are better than none!

Just take extra care with non-organic vegetables by washing them thoroughly and removing peels and cores when possible to minimize your exposure to pesticides. Certain fruits and vegetables also tend to be far more contaminated than others simply because they're more susceptible to various infestations and therefore sprayed more heavily. Some foods are also more "absorbent," with thin, tender skins. Such foods would be high on your list for buying organic.'

(The New York Times –Best Selling Author: Article published April 8, 2013))