Dietary Guidelines Explained: Eat more fruit and vegetables

"Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day."

In other words… Eat Your Greens! But here’s a hint – the second part of this guideline will help you up your intake considerably. If you opt for a “variety of fruits and vegetables” each day, you’ll find it’s much easier to consume more. Consider a buffet. Everyone knows that you eat more at buffets than you do at regular restaurants because there is a greater selection. It works the same with your daily spread of fruits and vegetables – the more variety, the more you eat.

The guidelines recommend two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day for a 2000 calorie intake – that’s equivalent to five to nine servings a day. Here are some hints to help you reach that goal:

  • Try new vegetables and fruits that you’ve never eaten before.
  • Think color – eat color! Mix and match as much as you can – red, orange, yellow, green, purple, white. Different colors mean different goodies for your body and immune system - plus, it makes your plate more appetizing.
  • Just add veggies! Get in the habit of adding vegetables to anything and everything – omelets, soups, casseroles, stir-fries, pasta sauces, risottos, sandwiches, and so on. Throw a handful in here and there and you’ll be well on your way to five plus a day.
  • Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table.
  • Keep your fridge stocked with celery, carrots and other veggies that are easy to snack on.