If you are eating less than 8-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you are not getting enough! This translates to roughly 4 1/2 cups or more of fruits and vegetables daily. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are vast-from lowering your risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, to reducing constipation, improving weight control, and reduces the likelihood that you are filling up on harmful foods like processed, packaged and/or fast foods.
What would eating 8-9 or more servings of fruits and vegetables look like on an average day?
Breakfast: add a cup of berries to your bowl of oatmeal and enjoy with a glass of fresh orange juice and a green tea (approx 2 servings of fruits)
Mid-morning snack: have a handful of dried fruit (approx 0.5-1 serving of fruit)
Lunch: enjoy a wrap on a whole-wheat or rice tortilla and include vegetables like kale, radishes, carrots, onions, and cucumber and add a protein source like chicken or raw seeds like sunflower seeds. Enjoy with a cup of hibiscus tea. (approx 2-3 servings of vegetables)
Mid-afternoon snack: Have some apple slices with almond butter and/or some raw celery and carrots with hummus (approx 1-2 servings of fruits/vegetables)
Dinner: Have a mixed greens salad (greens like spinach, romaine lettuce, dandelion and/or kale) and include your favourite veggies (such as carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, etc.) and add some dried cranberries to bump up your fruit intake. The main course could consist of a protein such as salmon or chicken with a grain such as quinoa. Serve with lightly cooked vegetables such as asparagus, peas, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower. For dessert: in spring/summer-enjoy a bowl of pineapple or watermelon; in fall/winter enjoy some clementines or a pear. Have a glass of pomegranate juice with dinner to add an extra serving of fruit with this antioxidant-packed beverage. (approx 5-7 servings of fruits/vegetables)
Have you seen Harvard’s updated nutrition food pyramid? check it out at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/.