Updated: Aug 19
Fruits and Vegetables are a staple in any well rounded diet. Do you know how many servings of these delicious natural resources you should be eating per day? Do you know how to source, prep and store these nutrient rich foods?
We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us. However, most people have a love/hate relationship with them. Far too many of us have a few favorites but rarely experiment with new tastes and flavors. Hopefully after this post, you’ll be hankering to eat up 😁
How many servings should I eat?
1 in 10 Adults consume enough fruits and vegetables per day, according to the CDC.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends adults consume 1 1/2 - 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups of vegetables daily. Using the current My Plate guidelines that approximately half of your plate per meal. What does that mean in serving size? Approximately 6-10 servings per day.
Why is this important?
Chronic disease and the ever rising rate of obesity is directly linked to poor diet and lifestyle choices. These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Results of a 2015 study by the CDC indicated that men, young adults and those living in poverty are the largest impacted segments. The study also showed that geographical location plays a role in consumption.
The good news is we’ve come a long way since then with community initiatives to bring farming to inner cities, growing farmers market interest and consumer driven demand.
Eat a rainbow
Eat a large variety of colored foods. Each provides essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
As you endeavor to increase your fruit and vegetable intake choose wide variety. Each color provides essential nutrients including A, C, D, K, carotene, lycopene, pectin, and fiber to name a few.
Here’s a link to a great article in Healthline explaining this in detail ♥️
Now is the perfect time to get started! There are an abundance of Farmers Markets in our communities. Buying local not only supports your local economy but when it comes to fruits and vegetables -in season choices are typically more cost effective. Check out this resource to find one near you.
Wash and prep
This is my biggest tip for you!!! I unfortunately have wasted hundreds of dollars in produce by not using it 😤 I often set out with good intentions and well 2 weeks later I’m looking for that smell in my refrigerator. I have learned that if you take a little time on the front end, you’ll eat what you buy and save money.
Pre-wash your fruits and vegetables in a simple vinegar and water solution gets off the grim and increases the life of your produce. I use 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar in a water bath. Don‘t have ACV no problem a 1/4 cup white vinegar works too.
Next step, slice, dice, chop and store. After your vinegar bath allow to air dry then prep for how your produce will be used. I keep most items in containers in my refrigerator. Be sure to place a paper towel in the container to absorb moisture. Not going to use it right away. Many things freeze well and can easily be added to your meals.
Here’s another handy resource to guide you on the use and care of that luscious yumminess 🥰
Short on time
Buy the pre-washed and cut produce. Seriously…don’t stress out! We all have those weeks but don’t skimp on nutrition because of a busy schedule.
Make it a priority
You only get one body so treat it well! Make small sustainable changes to your daily routines and choose well. I believe in you!!! You can and will make positive choices one meal at a time 😃
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