Only 25% of Americans eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Plants are the absolute foundation of a healthy diet, providing all sorts of nutrients and fibers that play a role in disease prevention. Eating more plants tends to displace higher-calorie foods, balancing your diet and controlling hunger.
Below are a few small and very simple changes to help you reach the goal of five fruits and veggies per day.
Track your fruits and veggies.
You are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables if you write down how many servings you get. Join the yumPower Fruit and Veggie Challenge this month to get you started. Find details on healthy.stpaul.gov.
Make a smoothie. Combine some low fat milk or yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen berries and a banana for a super easy blended breakfast – and 2 entire fruit servings!
Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet.
For lunch or dinner:
Pump up your sandwich with flavorable choices like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado slices.
Supersize a salad. One cup of leafy greens is a serving; every 1/2 cup of chopped fruits and vegetables is another serving. Add some broiled chicken or steak for a protein serving.
Dip portion sized raw vegetables in low-fat salad dressing, hummus, or peanut butter.
Swap out your afternoon soda for 1/2 cup of 100% juice to squeeze in an extra serving.
Freeze grapes and bananas. Dip half a banana in a small amount of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
Bake apples or pears and top with cinnamon and honey.
When eating ice cream or frozen yogurt, pile on 1/2 cup of fresh peaches, mangos or berries.