You think you’re struggling with 8 servings a day? The Harvard School of Public Health suggests you go for 9! And here’s why….
The Nutrition Source
Vegetables and Fruits
Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day, and potatoes don’t count. Go for a variety of kinds and colors of produce, to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Best bets? Dark leafy greens, cooked tomatoes, and anything that’s a rich yellow, orange, or red color.
It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits: Lower blood pressure; reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; lower risk of eye and digestive problems; and a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep appetite in check.
5 quick tips for eating more fruits and vegetables:
1. Keep fruit out where you can see it. That way you’ll be more likely to eat it. Keep it out on the counter or in the front of the fridge.
2. Get some every meal, every day. Try filling half your plate with vegetables at each meal. Serving up salads, stir fry, or other vegetable-rich fare makes it easier to reach this goal. Bonus points if you can get some fruits and vegetables at snack time, too.
3. Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety is the key to a healthy diet. Get out of a rut and try some new fruits and vegetables.
4. Bag the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbs. Read the “Carbohydrates” section of The Nutrition Source to learn how to add good carbs to your diet.
5. Make it a meal. Try some new healthy recipes where vegetables take center stage, such as Mollie Katzen’s asparagus with warm tarragon-pecan vinaigrette, or Nina Simonds’ spicy broccolini with red pepper.