Health Tip #4 - Fruits and Vegetables

Hit the target with your meal choices! Over the next multiple health tip posts, I am going to be covering the five categories of My Plate, including the ideal macronutrient recommendations for you and how to simply incorporate them into your everyday life! First up: Fruits and Vegetables.

I highly encourage eating the rainbow with fruits and vegetables to help keep your body working its best. Fruits and vegetables are most commonly known for their vitamin, antioxidant and fiber benefits! They are an excellent way to help feel full, stay 'regular', and even lower your risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease or Type 2 Diabetes.

How to choose: Each color of a fruit or vegetable represents a beneficial vitamin or nutrient and, typically, the darker or more bold/vibrant the color, the more nutrients it contains! So, for example, if you're given the option between iceberg lettuce and kale, choose kale to get more bang for your buck. Include cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli. Try to include a 1/2 Cup of mixed berries with one of your breakfasts this week. Eat a variety of colors and types. Eat the rainbow.

How much is recommended?* About 2 Cups of fruit (2 servings) and 3 Cups (3 servings) or more of vegetables each day. A serving is about the size of a small adult's fist or 2 fists for leafy greens. Good news for veggie-lovers like me: you can pretty much eat as many non-starchy vegetables** as you want without worrying about extra calories or carbohydrates.

If you struggle with enjoying the process of getting fruits and vegetables into your diet, here's a quick and fun way to add them: try hiding fruits and vegetables in meals using Thrive Life fruits and vegetables that you can blend up into a powder or smoothie mix.

Intake Challenge: Try a new fruit and a new vegetable this week! Post a pic of what your tried to my Facebook page #eattherainbow: https://www.facebook.com/CarlyCooleyRDN/

For more ideas on how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily routine and for personalized nutrient recommendations, contact me to set up your initial nutrition consultation today!

*These recommendations are for healthy adults (18-64 years of age) with less then 30 minutes per day of exercise. Women who are 31+ need 1.5 cups per day. Individuals who get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week need more. **Non-starchy vegetables exclude potatoes, corn, peas, and winter squashes

 

Carly Cooley