We all know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables- they are packed with nutrients and among other benefits, can reduce your risk for bowel, stomach and breast cancers and offer protection against strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure-but that’s easier said than done right?
It seems that there’s always something more convenient or more appetizing that keeps us from reaching Canada’s Food Guide’s recommended 7-10 serving per day for adults. I agree, those numbers can seem a bit overwhelming, but let’s break it down a bit and you may find out you’re getting more than you thought!
Think tennis ball…now you’re probably thinking “what does a tennis ball have to do with food?”
Nowadays, when it comes to food, everything seems to be bigger including the size of our fruits and vegetables. To help you tally up your daily count without having to measure out everything you eat, there are some simple tricks to eyeballing a serving. One serving of fruit or vegetables is just a half cup, or a piece the size of a tennis ball (for leafy greens its one cup or the size of a fist as they’re not as dense). Getting any closer?
So now for the good stuff…how can you get more? What do you do when your favourites aren’t in season or if you don’t like the latest super fruit? There are ways to get your produce all year round, and when it comes to these nutritional gems, you don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of comparing nutrients. What you want to aim for is eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Each different color is packed with different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that all boast some major health benefits.
Fruit and vegetables can be convenient and tasty. Use these tips to eat your way to better health.
- Keep frozen vegetables on hand to throw into your soup or pasta sauce
- Add fresh or frozen berries to yogurt, oatmeal or other cereals for breakfast
- Be prepared! When you get home from the grocery store, cut up your vegetables and store them in a tupperware container so they’re ready to grab on the go.
- Have some fun and make a homemade pizza! Fun for all ages, pick at least 5 of your favourite vegetables and load ‘em on to a whole wheat crust
- Grab a banana and some peanut butter for a quick snack on the run
- Make a fruit smoothie for a nutritious dessert
Challenge yourself to increase your fruit and vegetables by 1 serving every day this week. If you usually have two go for three! Remember it’s only half a cup of carrot sticks or one medium apple! Let me know how it goes and feel free to share any creative ideas you’ve come up with!