Keep reading to learn some super easy ways to get more fruits and veggies in your diet. Plus – how many you servings you need each day.
Do you know how many servings of fruits and veggies you get every day? Do you know how many servings of fruits and veggies you are supposed to have every day?
As we age, it’s more and more important to get those fruits and veggies into our diet every day. New research has found that eating more than five servings of fruits and veggies per day can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death.
The researchers found the greatest benefit came from eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. They estimate that if everyone ate this amount – equivalent to about 800 grams, or 28 ounces – approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be prevented.
To arrive at these figures, scientists from Imperial College London analyzed 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake. The meta-analysis included 2 million people from populations worldwide and assessed up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases, and 94,000 deaths. The results are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
“We wanted to investigate how much fruit and vegetables you need to eat to gain the maximum protection against disease, and premature death,” Dr. Dagfinn Aune, lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said in a statement. “Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, ten a day is even better.”
The results showed that even smaller amounts of fruits and vegetables had some protective benefits. For example, consuming 200 grams of fruits and vegetables per day – equivalent to two and a half servings – was associated with a 4 percent reduction in risk of cancer, and a 15 percent reduction in the risk of premature death.
Eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables per day was tied to a:
- 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease.
- 33 percent reduced risk of stroke.
- 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- 13 percent reduced risk of cancer.
- 31 percent reduction in premature death.
Put the odds in your favor. Add some fruits and veggies to your diet! Here are some easy ways to add fruits and veggies to your diet:
1. Fill half your plate with veggies at every meal
Sure! Sounds easy, but it may not always be as simple to add half a plate of veggies to all 3 or 4 meals every day. That’s why I like to have a smoothie for breakfast and sometimes one for a snack in the afternoon. Check out my favorite recipe here: How to Make a Healthy Protein Shake
This is an important lesson that you learn during the 30-day healthy living challenge. Once you get in the habit of adding half a plate of veggies at every meal, you will only see this graphic when it is time to eat! Plus, you can forget about counting calories. This challenge is all about learning to eat better, not less. You’ll be getting a lot more nutrients that your body loves – and can digest a little easier.
2. Get rid of the junk food in your house
How does this make it easier to eat more fruits and veggies? I don’t know about you, but if we have chips or cookies in the house, I will eat them! Get rid of the temptation and reach for fruits and veggies instead.
3. Keep grab and go fruits and veggies available
One of the top weight loss tools I mention in the article here suggests getting a nice fruit basket. You’ll feel better about having apples and bananas on display if you have a nice holder. Plus, you and your entire family will have easier access to healthy fruits and veggies.
4. Eat raw veggies like carrots, celery, and peppers as a snack
Pick your favorite and pack it as an afternoon snack if you know you’ll get hungry in the afternoon or mid-morning.
5. Add veggies to rice, quinoa, eggs, potatoes
One of my favorite recipes in the 30-day healthy living challenge is extra veggie fried rice. You can add all the veggies you want to this recipe. This is such a simple hack for any favorite staple of yours. Rice and quinoa, even gluten-free pasta are some of my favorite things. You can easily ramp the healthy factor of these foods by mixing in some veggies.
6. Add bananas and berries to your oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great way to get iron and fiber in your diet. Pure oats and pure oatmeal are gluten-free. Be sure to check the label to ensure that your brand is gluten-free. You can easily increase the nutrients by adding some fruits to your oatmeal. Add healthy fats like nuts and flax seed to make it even better.
7. Add one serving of Greens Balance to your daily protein shake
Greens Balance is a dietary supplement made of a proprietary color blend of whole fruit and vegetable powders — delivering antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. One scoop is a full serving of fruits and veggies. This tastes amazing and is so convenient. I add it to my morning protein shake, but you could add it to juice or water as well.
Created from key blends that offer targeted nutritional benefits otherwise only found by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables:
■ Greens such as spirulina, kale, artichoke, broccoli, spinach, alfalfa, barley grass, and wheat grass contain chlorophyll, and vitamins A, K, and E
■ Reds such as pomegranate, cherry, red coffee bean, and tomato provide antioxidants including vitamin C, flavonoids, and polyphenols
■ Yellows such as pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, papaya, and mango contain vitamins A and C along with antioxidant bioflavonoids and alpha- and beta-carotene
■ Blues such as blueberry, blackcurrant, purple sweet potato, and elderberry are sources of antioxidants, resveratrol, and vitamin C