Most of us should eat between 2½ to 6½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day depending on age, gender, and activity level. Many of us, however, don’t get enough. Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most positive health habits that adults, youth, and children can adopt. Virtually all national health organizations emphasize that people who eat a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits as part of a healthy diet are likely to experience many different health benefits. People who eat more fruits and vegetables have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Research also suggests that fruits and vegetables may help in preventing and treating heart disease and high blood pressure. Replacing fruits and vegetables for high-fat foods may also make it easier to control weight.
Try these tips to enjoy more fruits and vegetables:
- Buy and prepare more fruits and vegetables. Keep canned and frozen fruits and vegetables on hand. Buy fresh produce in season.
- Eat a variety of fruits — fresh, frozen, canned, or dried — rather than drinking juice.
- Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter for an easy-to-grab snack.
- Keep baby carrots or other ready-to-eat vegetables on hand.
- Add corn, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, or beans to soups and stews.
- Top sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and other vegetables.
- Add bananas or berries to cereal or yogurt.
- Stir fry, experiment with different vegetables, or use what you have on hand.
- Make fruit smoothies for a quick breakfast or snack.
For more information: Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables PDF
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2005. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Retrieved from http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines.
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