We all know that it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables, but we don’t always manage to get as much of them as we should in our daily diets. If we keep the benefits of eating these healthy foods in mind and have some quick and simple ways to incorporate them into our diets, we can easily increase the amount of fruits and veggies we consume.
Why Fruits and Veggies?
Because vegetables and fruits are higher in vitamins and minerals than other foods, it increases our body’s intake of these important nutrients and prevents malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies. Increased intake of phyto nutrients reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many cancers. High intake of antioxidants reduces free radical damage, and strong alkaline potential balances out dietary acids that come from proteins and grains, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Fruits and veggies are also high in fibre, which reduces appetite, increases digestive health and improves the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels.
You may be thinking that you can get your vitamin and minerals from supplements, however obtaining these nutrients in their natural forms in fruits and vegetables is more health-promoting than the supplemental forms.
Serving Sizes & Daily Recommendations
It is recommended that between 8-12 servings of vegetables and fruits be consumed each day. If you’ve been eating less than this, build up to that amount to gain the confidence that you can do it, instead of trying to immediately force yourself into the 8-12 range.
What constitutes a single serving? One medium-sized fruit, ½ a cup of raw fruits, ½ a cup of raw or cooked vegetables or one cup of raw, leafy vegetables/greens.
An easy way to work fruits and veggies into your diet is to include at least two servings of vegetables and/or fruits with each meal. An example from a day of meals could look like this:
How does that look in a day?
- Breakfast omelette with ¼ cup red peppers, ½ cup onions and ¼ cup mushrooms
- ½ cup of pineapple with morning snack
- Lunch salad with 1 cup of spinach, 1 tomato and ½ an avocado
- Mix 1 cup of berries in with your afternoon protein smoothie
- Eat the other half of the avocado along with your dinner
If you’re interested in weight loss, eat more vegetables than fruit, because vegetables are lower in calorie density. A typical ration for this scenario would be five vegetables for every one fruit. If you’re interested in performance enhancement or muscle gain, the vegetables-to-fruit ratio can be closer to three vegetables for each fruit.
5 Tips to Easily Eat Your Veggies
1. Many people complain of flatulence issues as the result of eating raw vegetables – this can be avoided if you steam the vegetables first.
2. For those who enjoy eating raw vegetables, they can be enjoyed in salads or juiced.
3. Don’t enjoy the taste of veggies? You can throw them into your protein smoothies and you won’t even taste that they’re in there!
4. In addition, veggies can be sautéed, added to a stir-fry, baked or roasted.
5. For times when eating enough whole foods can be a challenge, you can consider using powdered vegetable supplements that are similar to protein supplements. These supplements contain powdered extracts of specific fruits and vegetables, but they shouldn’t be relied upon as the only way to get the high nutritional value that whole fruits and vegetables provide.
Have a favourite fruit or veggie recipe? Please share it in the comments!
Life doesn’t have to be complicated!
If you have questions, then let’s connect. Book yourself a pressure-free, 20 minute Fitness Breakthrough session. I will help figure out what you need in order to become stronger and healthier version of yourself.
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