Mom and dad may have been right about the benefits of eating your fruits and vegetables. Eating just one apple a day will probably not keep the doctor away and neither is eating one just carrot likely to make you see well. Determining the correct number of daily fruit and veggie servings has been debated for some time. It turns out the correct answer may not be the same for everyone.
CNN Health indicates that studies show eating up to 7 servings of fruit and vegetables a day will cut the risk of premature death by 42%, while the American Heart Association says that 8 servings a day is the correct amount. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that the right number of daily fruits and vegetables depends on several factors. Your age, sex, weight and even activity level are factors that help determine the right amount for you. The USDA provides a calculator where you enter your information and it will calculate the correct amount of daily servings of the food groups for you. The USDA has a Choose My Plate page that has already calculated the number of servings of fruits, by age that a person should consume on a daily basis.
How To Get It All In Your Diet
If you go by the recommendations provided by the CNN Health article, since a serving size of most fruits and vegetables is ½ C., this means eating 4 or more cups of veggies and fruit daily. If you follow the general recommendations by the USDA, you will be eating an average of 2 cups veggies and fruit daily. To easily get your fruits and veggies, keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the table or counter. The fruit is easy to grab as you are running out the door to work and when the kids are headed off to school or out to play. Make a snack of celery and peanut butter instead of peanut butter crackers. Make a smoothie. Add salsa or sweet peppers to your meatloaf or sandwiches. Drink fruit or vegetable juice to get a full serving of fruits and veggies.
The American Heart Association says that including an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet “may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that a healthy diet that regularly includes fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. The CDC also provides other calculators to help people eat healthier.