Daily Need of Fruit and Vegetables

We've all been told by our parents when we were growing up that we had to eat our fruits and vegetables. In fact, for some of us, that phrase has permanently been drilled into our memories. How important is it really, though?

Well, the answer to that question is that fruits and vegetables are very important. In fact, they're vital for maintaining good health, in general. They also have some added benefits, too.

How Many Fruits and Vegetables to Eat

Today it's recommended to eat five to thirteen servings a day. This is can vary form person to person.

That depends on a lot of factors, such as:

You also should consider if you are trying to maintain your current weight, lose weight or gain weight.

The Right Portion Size

When it comes to getting enough fruits and vegetables each day, there's the question how to measure a serving. Many people assume a serving is a cup, but it's actually half a cup. You also have to differentiate if you measure fruit or vegetables and what kind of fruit or vegetable it is.

Fruits and veggies come in three forms:

You have to eat double the leafy greens to equal a serving. Yet, you have to eat half the dried fruit. That's in relation to the standard half a measuring cup of fresh or cooked vegetables or fruits.

Added Benefits of Fruit

Fruits contain natural sugars. So, one benefit is that they are a sweet snack that is actually healthier than candy and cookies. That makes them wonderful to give children as snack foods. It also makes them great for anyone who is trying to lose weight and wants snacks that are nutritious.

In addition to all of that, though, fruits and vegetables can also prevent a lot of disorders and diseases, such as diverticulitis, a very painful disorder of the intestines. Eating vegetables and fruits each day has also been proven to reduce risks of both strokes and heart attacks. As if that weren't enough, studies also show that eating fruits and vegetables can protect your vision by reducing your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.

Components of Fruits and Vegetables

As mentioned above, fruits and vegetables are full of healthy, natural sugars. They're also full of some great other healthy components, though. For example, they're rich in vitamins and minerals. They're also full of antioxidants, which fight cell-damaging free radicals in our bodies. You would think that, doing all that, they'd be full of calories, too, but that's the best part. Most fruits and vegetables are very low in calories.

A Word About Potatoes

A lot of people consider potatoes to be a vegetable. Well, technically, they are. However, from a health standpoint, you shouldn't count them among your daily fruit and vegetable servings. The reason for that is that potatoes are made mainly of starch. They aren't as rich in healthy components as other fruits and vegetables, though they can provide short bursts of energy.

How To Eat Your Daily Fruit and Vegetable Portions

Eating five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day can seem like a daunting task. The trick is to incorporate them into your diet in unique and interesting ways, though. Let's take it meal by meal.

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