Fruits 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.
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|
- Learn more about fruits and vegetables
- Learn how to store your fruits and veggies with our Simple Cooking with Heart™ Produce Storage Infographic
This content was last reviewed on 01/10/2013.