Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Updated:Apr 16,2014

Couple Preparing Fruit and VegetablesFruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.  Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure.

Which fruits and vegetables are best?
That’s easy: They’re all good! If you eat many different types of fruits and veggies, you’re sure to get all the different types of nutrients you need. The American Heart Association recommends filling at least half your plate with fruits and veggies in order to make it to the recommended 4-5 servings of each per day. The good news is that all produce counts, which means canned, dried, fresh and frozen varieties can help you reach your goal.

When buying canned, dried or frozen vegetables and fruit, be sure to compare food labels and choose the products with the lowest amount of sodium and added sugars.

How to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

  • Eat melon, grapefruit or other fruit.
  • Add bananas, raisins or berries to your cereal.
  • Drink a small (6-ounce) glass of juice. Be sure it’s 100% fruit or vegetable juice without excess sodium or sugars – not “fruit drink,” "cocktail" or “punch.” 
  • Add chopped up vegetables to your eggs or potatoes. Try onions, celery, green or red bell peppers, or spinach.



Take the Next Step
If you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies every day, you may be ready for the next step: include more color. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. Some of these nutrients are fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A and C. The best way to get all the various nutrients is to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. The five main color groups and examples in each group are listed below. Eat from as many color groups as you can each day. 

Color Fruits and Vegetables
Red / Pink: beets, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, pomegranates, radicchio, radishes, raspberries, red apples, red grapes, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, watermelon
 
Orange / Yellow: acorn or butternut squash, apricots, cantaloupe, carrot, corn, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, orange juice, orange peppers, papaya, peaches, pineapple, pumpkin, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yams, yellow apples, yellow peppers, yellow squash
Green: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, collard greens, cucumber, green beans, green cabbage, green grapes, green onions, green peppers, kale, kiwi, leeks, limes, mustard greens, okra, pears, peas, romaine lettuce, snow peas, spinach, sugar snap peas, watercress, zucchini
White bananas, cauliflower, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, mushrooms, onion, potatoes, parsnips, shallots
Blue / Purple: blackberries, blueberries, currants, dates, eggplant, purple grapes, purple grape juice, plums, prunes, purple figs, raisins

 



This content was last reviewed on 01/10/2013.


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