Fruit and Vegetables:
Vegetables and fruits, though not a nutrient group in themselves, are a section of great importance. These contain fiber, numerous vitamins, and have quite a few health benefits. Diets high in these have been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve digestive problems, decrease appetite, and protect against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables should make up approximately half of your daily diet.
There are many ways to eat enough fruits and vegetables. One of the most common suggestions is to make sure they fill up half of your plate with each meal. Another way is to prepare these as snacks beforehand so each time you want a snack they’re right there. Having a Tupperware container or a bowl full of carrot sticks with hummus, or some applesauce bowls is a great way to start.
My wife prepares these and other snacks for our kids, putting them within easy reach in the refrigerator. Since most of us snack when we’re at home, this is great for everyone. For a full list of snack ideas check out our post.
Useful tips from the Harvard School of Health include:
- Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs.
- Try dark leafy greens; brightly colored red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits; and cooked tomatoes.
- Keep fruit where you can see it. That way you’ll be more likely to eat it.
- Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety is the key to a healthy diet.
- Skip the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydrates.
- Make it a meal. Try cooking new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads and stir fries are two ideas for getting them on your plate.