High in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but low in calories – fruits and vegetables are an ideal food group. Your intake affects your ability to manage your weight and support overall good health.
The United States Department of Agriculture Food Guide recommends that adults eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, and 2 cups of fruit every day, but few of us actually meet suggested amounts . Here are 5 easy ways you can eat more fruit and vegetables:
1. Fill Half Your Plate
No matter which meal or snack you’re eating, fill 50% of your plate with fruits and vegetables . This will ensure that you meet your recommended intake without the hassle of counting servings and measuring portions.
You can’t get more convenient than a fresh apple or raw carrot for snacking on the go. But when fresh is not an option, dried, canned, and frozen are also quick to prepare and loaded with nutrients.
You can pack a lot of produce into fresh pressed juice and smoothies. Aim for a 2:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit to keep the sugar content down and the flavor balanced. Leafy greens, cucumber, mango, squash, pulses, and tubers make great additions. Add a scoop of Natural Factors Vegan Protein to kick your smoothie’s protein content up a notch.
4. Make a Healthy Swap
Swap one of your regular staples for a serving of fruit or vegetables every day. Swap your:
- Commercial sports drink for fresh-pressed beet juice
- Hamburger patty for a large Portobello mushroom cap
- Pancake flour for red lentils
- Pasta for zucchini noodles
- Mayo for mashed avocado
5. Grow Your Own
Munching on vegetables right out of your garden or windowsill pot is delicious and fun. Easy indoor options include lettuce, kale, radishes, and herbs such as basil and parsley. Eating more servings of fruit and vegetables can fit easily into your day!