Eating plenty of naturally colorful fruit and vegetables can help lower your risk of heart disease and keep you fit & healthy. Read on…

That’s not all; veggies and fruit can further help to protect you against type 2 diabetes and some cancers. In addition, they can help to manage your weight and cholesterol levels.

Most people don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit.

How Many Servings of Vegetables and Fruit Should You Eat Every Day?

A key element of a heart-healthy diet is eating a wide variety of foods. The more colorful, the better it is. Another important factor is including as much fresh and unprocessed food as possible.

Fitness Buffhq says: “For overall good health, you should try to eat at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit daily.”

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or children may require more or less. Talk to your doctor or an accredited dietitian for more information on what’s right for you.

How Much Is A Serving of Fruit and Vegetables?

Fruit

  • One medium banana, apple, pear, or orange
  • Two small plums, apricots, or kiwi fruit
  • 1 cup of diced/canned fruit (without syrup)
  • 30g (small handful) of dried fruit
  • Half cup (125ml) of fresh juice (drink only occasionally)

Vegetables

  • Half cup of cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of vegetable salad
  • Half a cup of sweetcorn
  • Half medium potato, sweet potato, or another starchy vegetable
  • Half a cup of cooked peas or beans

How To Add More Fruit & Vegetables To Your Diet?

Are you thinking of adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet? Here are a few tips to get started.

Eat fresh, frozen, canned, and dried vegetables and fruit 

While fresh is recommended, if not available, you can eat frozen or canned vegetables. They are almost on par with fresh and can be just as healthy. However, make sure to avoid added salt and sugar. So always read the nutrition information on the food label to avoid added salt and sugar.

Plan your main meal around vegetables

Add an extra serving of veggies or a side salad to every main meal. Swap some of the meat and poultry in recipes with legumes (peas, beans, or lentils).

Chop it!  

Cut up fruit and vegetables and store them in an air-tight container. Keep the container in the fridge for eating when you get hungry between meals. Cutting fruit and vegetables into bite-sized pieces can save the hassle later, making them easier to carry.

Add Salad To Your Wholegrain Sandwich

Consider eating tomato, lettuce, and carrot for a healthy boost. Spinach leaves, tomato, avocado, and finely cut-up onion & mushrooms go well in a toasted sandwich. Yummy!

Eat Seasonally 

Seasonal fruit and vegetables are not only fresh but healthier & cheaper also.

Fill Half Of Your Plate 

Go for the rainbow by adding three different-colored vegetables as part of your dinner.

Sprinkle Fruit On Your Breakfast.

Add chopped fresh or frozen fruit to your cereal or porridge. This will not only make it healthier but also add flavor.

Order a side  

You can make eating out healthy. For example, order vegetable-based pasta sauces, more vegetable toppings on pizzas, or a vegetable stir-fry to add vegetables to your meal. Another easy way is having a side salad with more greens.

Try fruit as a snack 

Rather than reaching for a chocolate bar or a bag of chips, go for more fresh or frozen berries, which go well with unflavored yogurt.

Work in more 

Add fresh or frozen vegetables and legumes to your pasta dishes, soups, or casseroles. Some examples are adding grated vegetables, like carrot or zucchini, to sauces.

 Add color and variety to your meals – Eat the rainbow:

 Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit daily helps you get enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, different colors provide different healthy nutrients to help your body function at its best.

Every week, try to eat vegetables and fruit from all of the different color groups.

Orange & YellowOranges, Mandarins, Nectarines, Carrot, Sweet potato, Bananas, Pumpkin, Capsicum
RedTomato, Capsicum, Apples, Strawberries, Raspberries
Purple & BlueEgg Plant, Beetroot, Blueberries, Plums
GreenPeas, Cucumber, Baby spinach, Beans, Broccoli, Lettuce, Grapes, Kiwi fruit, Apples,
Brown & WhiteCabbage, Cauliflower, Potato, Onion, Mushroom

Bottom Line

1.    Eating vegetables & fruit help cut down your risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

2.    Veggies & fruit also help control weight & cholesterol levels.

3.    Only a few people eat the recommended amount of vegetables & fruit.

4.    Aim to incorporate vegetables & fruit in each meal. Remember, variety is the key.

About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He Renu Bakshi - Fitness Buffhqpassed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”