Monday, February 14, 2011

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Years ago, nutritional advice was as simple as "an apple a day." Later we were advised to eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The latest USDA recommendations suggest that we eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Over the years there have been many changes to the healthy eating pyramid with an obvious emphasis to eat more plant based foods.

As much as I enjoy fruits and vegetables, there are some challenges associated with them. When I was a little kid, my dad would come home from grocery shopping every week and stock the fridge full of produce, but most of it would spoil before we got around to eating it. The shelf life of fresh produce is always a challenge if you don't eat them soon enough.

There are many benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. Some of these include:

1. You can eat more food since they have a lower calorie content than other foods.
2. They are a good source of fiber.
3. They contain anti-oxidants.
4. You don't have to worry about artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
5. They can reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and other diseases.
6. They contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
7. They are very simple to prepare and are a healthy, natural snack.
8. They add color, variety, and greater appeal to your meals.

I've noticed that most kids tend to enjoy fruits more than vegetables. As a kid I hated onions and am still working to overcome that dislike. Some of my kids display the same prejudice that I did against vegetables, but we are making progress as we attempt to expose them to a wide variety of vegetables and choices.

It can be a pain trying to keep track of how many servings you've eaten, so for your next healthy habit, let's keep it simple and just work on eating more of fruits and vegetables each day than you have in the past. I feel like a hypocrite since I have not been eating enough fruits and vegetables recently so I am adding this to my weekly health commitments for 2011 and invite you to do the same.

2 comments:

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

this is something I've been doing lately and my body loves it! =)

julie said...

It's very easy to eat lots of fruit, harder (and more difficult to prepare) many vegetables. I like fruit, but I actually have to restrict a bit, I can eat 10+ servings a day. Healthy vitamins and antioxidants, yes, but still a high sugar lifestyle.