Eating More with Fruits and Vegetables Makes a Difference
It is probably safe to say that most of us could afford to eat more fruits and vegetables each day. Even though it can be a bit of a struggle to get the recommended amounts, the benefits are certainly worth the effort.
Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced diet, and they can help keep you healthy. They contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that may help protect you from many chronic diseases and some cancers. They are also:
- Low in sodium
- Low in fat
- Low in calories
- Cholesterol free
How much do you need?
The number of servings of fruits and vegetables you should consume is based on your individual calorie needs. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, an individual should consume 2 servings of fruits and 2 ½ servings of vegetables each day. You may need more or less depending on your individual calorie needs.
How to get more each day.
You know fruits and vegetables are good for you, but you still find it difficult to work them into your daily eating plan.
Try these ideas to increase your intake.
- At home, keep a bowl of fruit on your counter or have fruits and veggies washed and in the refrigerator, ready to grab and go.
- Put sliced fruit on top of breakfast cereal.
- Include a green salad with a variety of sliced vegetables with dinner.
- For dinner, plan a vegetable main dish once a week such as vegetable stir-fry or vegetable soup.
- Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables so they’re always available.
Since fruits and vegetables are low in calories, they can help with weight loss when eaten in place of higher calorie foods. The next time you feel the urge to snack, grab some carrots or celery or an apple or a pear. They taste great, and your body will thank you.
Did you know that Excellus BCBS offers a a free fitness and nutrition web-based program designed to improve your health through physical activity and healthy eating? Step Up is designed to help you take small steps every day toward reaching your goals like walking a little bit more and eating a little bit smarter. Get started with tracking your fitness and nutrition goals at Step Up.