A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Help prevent some types of cancer
- Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of obesity and help with weight loss
How much do you need?
Children under the age of nine should eat about a cup to a cup and a half of vegetables each day. They should eat the same amount of fruit per day. For adults, it’s two to three cups of vegetables and one and a half to two cups of fruit.
Sound like a lot? Here are some ideas to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet:
- Add veggies to dishes you already enjoy, like omelettes, quesadillas, lasagna or macaroni and cheese.
- Add fresh or frozen vegetables to home-made or canned soup.
- Load up a salad with your favorite vegetables, such as cucumber, tomatoes, or spinach. You could even add mandarin oranges, jicama, pineapple, or strawberries for variety and extra flavor.
- Add chopped veggies such as peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, even broccoli to spaghetti sauce. Or add them to pizza!
- You can juice fruit, vegetables, or a combination and get your daily allowance all at once. You can also make them into a smoothie.
- Grill your vegetables. Just brush them lightly with canola or olive oil or marinade and pop them on the grill for a quick and delicious side dish. Or make veggie kabobs with bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or any other vegetables you like.
- Add tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed greens, sprouts, cucumbers, cilantro or avocado to your sandwich or wrap. Or make a veggie sandwich!
- Make a stir fry with your favorite vegetables. Add meat if desired and serve with rice for a complete meal.
- If you decide to have fast food, add a side salad to your meal. Or ask for extra lettuce and tomato on your burger.
Be creative and be healthy!