According to science, by eating more fruits and vegetables, we reduce our risk of certain diseases such as cancer and extend longevity by years.
By eating healthier foods, we reduce the consumption of junk foods, processed foods, and preservatives.
And it’s so easy to plug into the power of fruit and vegetables!
Here’s the good news: It doesn’t take having to eat a lot of fruit or vegetables to be healthy. According to the CDC, we need 1 ½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables. It might sound like a lot, but it isn’t.
Here are a few examples:
- 2 cups of leafy greens are equal to 1 cup of vegetables.
- A ½ cup of dried fruits is equal to 1 cup of fruits.
- One big fruit (apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) is equal to 1 cup of fruit.
- It takes 6 – 8 pieces of smaller fruits to equal 1 cup (think strawberries, blackberries, etc.).
Adding more fruit and veggies to your diet is easy. Here are four simple ways to get you started.
Plan and Prepare
Having things washed, drained, chopped, and cut up is a great time-saver. And it’ll be easier to add some chopped spinach to your omelet or sneak some fruit into your yogurt or cereal.
And if your vegetables are already washed and chopped, you’ll be more likely to add them to a meal.
A great time-saver is to buy frozen fruits and vegetables. They still retain their nutritional value and their delicious flavor. Plus, they’re already prepared and ready to go and are available year-round.
Salads go with just about anything. And adding them to lunch is so easy. You can do classic salads or add some lean protein like chicken or tuna or vegan sources of protein like beans or chickpeas.
Salads are low in calories (if you go easy on the dressing) and they fill you up. Plus, they’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that keep your metabolism going longer while boosting concentration and energy levels.
Soup can be a nutritious option for satiating hunger while providing an easy way for you to get your daily supply of fruits and vegetables.
Although we’ve been conditioned to enjoy sugary desserts after meals, what if a few times a week, we reached for fruit instead? You can still enjoy your favorite dessert, but what if instead of having dessert every day, you reserved it for a special meal or two during the week or on the weekend?
Substituting fruit for dessert reduces calorie consumption, boosts mental focus, and stabilizes energy levels versus sugary desserts and snacks that crash your energy.
You can cut up different types of fruit to make a fruit salad or put them in a blender to make a smoothie. It’s so easy to keep an apple or banana with you too – it’s nature’s version of fast food.
Think about, just by eating a couple of cups of fruit and a couple of cups of vegetables each day, you’ll have an easier time managing your weight, reduce the risk of disease, be mentally sharp, and have more energy to live your best life!
Photo by Daniel Irwin on Unsplash