Fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet. There’s really no substitute for delicious and nutritious produce. Fruits and veggies provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, healthy fats, and even protein.
While it’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for your health, not everyone eats enough produce. The minimum number of servings per day is 5, and only 14% of adults get that many. Among kids, the percentage is even lower.
It’s not difficult to meet your fruit and veggie quota each day, however. Make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables!
Why fruits and vegetables are important
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth and maintaining wellness.
Diets that include fruits and vegetables have been shown to decrease risk for health issues such as heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancer.
Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you maintain a healthy weight, or reach a healthy weight.
The nutrients found in produce are essential for healthy growth and development in children, and equally necessary to stay healthy, strong, and active as an adult.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
Try eating different types of fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens are good for you, but try some brightly colored bell peppers or vibrant purple eggplant. Apples are your favorite, but add some citrus or a melon to the mix, as well.
Different foods contain different nutrients, and eating a good variety can help ensure you get all of the nutrients your body needs.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do people need each day?
The exact number of servings you should have each depends on your age, gender, activity levels, and several other factors. However, the USDA offers daily recommendations based on 30 minutes of daily physical activity. According to these recommendations, you should have at least 2-3 cups of vegetables each day, and at least 1.5-2 cups of fruit.
Still other experts suggest as many as 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Again, the exact number of servings you need depends on the needs of the individual, but the idea here is that the more fruits and veggies you eat, the better.
Ways to get your daily servings of fruits and veggies
Eating more fruits and veggies is easy! Here are a few tips to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Find nutritious vegetables and fruits that you enjoy. You’re more likely to eat produce when you enjoy it.
Make a conscious effort to serve fruits and vegetables with your meals.Try to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Look for recipes that emphasize fruits and veggies.
Skip the chip aisle in the grocery store. Avoid filling your pantry with unhealthy junk foods, and buy more produce.
Prepare fruits and vegetables as a convenient, healthy snack. Slice, chop, dice, pack, and stack fruits and veggies in your refrigerator so that they’re always ready when you need a snack.
Notice how you feel. Replacing unhealthy junk food with nutritious produce provides great health benefits that can make you feel healthier, too!