While there are many controversial topics in the field of nutrition, there is one upon which experts agree. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, especially heart disease. Given that heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States and the world, this is particularly significant. Despite this, the United States Centers for Disease Control recently estimated that only 12% of Americans meet their daily fruit, and 9% meet their daily vegetable requirement.
91% of Americans do not eat enough vegetables
88% of Americans do not eat enough fruit
Now I know this all sounds like doom and gloom, but it is actually good news. It means we can do something simple to reduce the leading cause of death. We can all eat more fruits and vegetables.
We can reduce the leading cause of death
by eating more fruits and vegetables
So what are your daily fruit and vegetable requirements? And what does that actually look like? Most of us need between 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. The precise amount depends on gender and age. You can find out exactly how much you should be eating here. The following pictures show what 2.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit looks like. That is what an adolescent or a woman over 30 years should be eating every day. Younger women and men need a little more, but you get the idea.
TIP – 2 cups of raw leafy greens is equivalent to 1 cup of vegetables.
TIP – don’t forget that frozen vegetables count, like these frozen edamame beans.
TIP – canned beans count as a vegetable. 1 cup beans is equivalent to 1 cup vegetables.
After looking at these pictures, do you think you meet your daily fruit and vegetable requirements? What are your favorite ways to add more fresh produce to your diet?