Everyone agrees on the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables, but not enough people are following this important advice. Dietary experts recommend that every person should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest changes you can make to increase your level of health, lose weight and gain fitness.
The latest food guidelines recommend that adults eat from five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. While that may seem like a lot, it is an important goal to strive for, and a very reachable one.
A serving of a fruit or vegetable is equal to:
1. 1 medium sized vegetable or fruit (such as an apple, orange or banana)
2. 2 small fruits (such as kiwi fruit or plums)
3. ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned fruits or vegetables
4. ½ cup of 100% fruit juice
5. ¼ cup of dried fruit
6. 1 cup of green salad
Study after study has shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and other chronic diseases and conditions. One reason for the recommendation that everyone increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables is that many of these foods have been shown to have strong antioxidant qualities.
Many fruits and vegetables have high amounts of many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. In addition to their importance as source of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables also provide essential dietary fiber.
Many people do not realize, that in addition to vitamin C, oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits also contain significant amounts of fiber. Fiber plays an important role in digestion, and it is thought to have protective qualities against heart disease and some forms of cancer. In addition, fiber is thought to have the ability to lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Another great feature of fruits and vegetables, especially to those watching their weight, is the high nutrition, low fat, and low calorie nature of these foods. Fruits and vegetables contain very low levels of fats, and a diet low in fat can be quite effective for long-term weight loss. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain no cholesterol, and they are lower in calories than many other types of foods.
Fruits and vegetables have a lot of advantages besides just their nutritional importance. For one thing, they taste great and add a great deal of variety to everyday meals. Fruits and vegetables come in such a wide variety of colors, textures and flavors that they can be used in virtually every meal. Those seeking to maximize their consumption of fruits and vegetables should get into the habit of using fruits in salads, as toppings and as garnishes.
No matter what your reason for following a healthy diet, we believe you will find that eating more fruits and vegetables is a delicious, as well as a nutritious, way to get the vitamins and minerals you need every day.
I hope that reading the above information was both enjoyable and educational for you. When word gets around about your command of healthy diet facts, others who need to know about fruits and vegetables will start to actively seek you out.