An extra 10 pounds, days spent tired and listless or just an overall sense of ickiness is often what makes people take a step back and consider what’s going on health-wise with their bodies. Simple solutions are often the best when it comes to general health, and one thing that tops the list when seeking health answers is your diet.
Popping a few berries here and there and eating a salad on occasion isn’t enough to get the full benefit of fruits and veggies. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, the average adult gets just three servings of fruits and veggies a day. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s less than half of what you really need! They recommends at least nine 1-cup servings a day. Sound like a lot? Well, if you’re eating leafy greens — which you should be — consider two cups as one serving.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet makes an impact on your overall health. According to that same study, the health benefits of fruits and vegetables can be far-reaching, promoting heart and gastrointestinal health and warding off high blood pressure, cancer, stroke and visual ailments like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Now, many of you may be gleefully thinking of potatoes when you read “vegetable,” but consider that bubble burst. Yes, they are a root vegetable and provide nutrients that can be an asset to any daily diet, but because they are starchy carbohydrates, they don’t quite fall into the same category as spinach, broccoli, berries and other similar foods. We’re talking the most bang for your nutritional buck with colorful shades of red, green and yellow.
The CDC recently posted a study detailing how to determine whether a fruit or vegetable is a true “powerhouse” food, measuring the levels of 17 critical nutrients in each one to come up with a list of top performers. With 41 total on the list, there is sure to be a winner in here for your taste buds.
Best in the Bunch
Veggies: Watercress, Chinese cabbage, chard, beet greens and spinach
Fruits: Red pepper, pumpkin, tomato, lemon and strawberry
To get the most nutrition out of your nine servings of veggies a day, go for a variety of fruits and veggies. From kale and cabbage to oranges and blackberries, there is something healthy for every taste bud, it’s just a matter of choosing to fill your plate with more of the good stuff.
Did you know that September is “Fruits and Veggies: More Matters Month”? Simple steps to incorporate more fruits and vegetables can make you and your family healthier.
What creative ways do you include healthy foods into your diet?