Did you know? Just 1 in 10 American adults meet the daily fruit and vegetable recommendations. Not eating the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake puts you at risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. You’re also at risk for certain cancers. Your body is missing out on important vitamins, minerals, and fiber when you don’t eat fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables also add color, flavor, and texture to meals.
What is the amount of fruit you should eat per day?
The amount of fruit each person needs can vary between 1 and 2 cups a day. If you’re physically active you may need more.
A cup of fruit is:
- 32 seedless grapes
- 2 large tangerines
- 1/2 cup dried fruit
What is the amount of vegetables you should eat per day?
The amount of vegetables each person needs can vary between 1 and 3 cups a day.
A cup of vegetables is:
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup cooked collard greens
- 1 cup mashed pumpkin
Building a healthier plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Don’t know how to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet? Well, try these tips.
10 Tips to Enjoy Fruits and Vegetables
- Use vegetables as a pizza topping. I like broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini.
- Wrap roasted veggies in a whole wheat tortilla and add cheese.
- Mix up a smoothie with a non-dairy milk substitute, frozen berries, spinach, banana, and chia seeds.
- Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms, and onions.
- Fill an omelet with vegetables and turn it into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, or onions.
- Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for an on-the-go snack. Keep a bowl of fresh, whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table. Apples produce ethylene gas on ripening and can ripen other fruit quicker. Keep apples separate from other fruit.
- Keep cut vegetables handy for snacks, side dishes, or lunch box additions. Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green, or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas, or whole radishes.
- Puree apples, berries, peaches, or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or chicken, or on pancakes, French toast, or waffles.
- Top a sweet potato with beans and salsa.
Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam, add to soups or stir-fry for a quick side dish.