52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Bushel of Reasons to Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Lets talk fruits and vegetables...did you know that most people should aim for at least 9 servings of fruits and veggie's a day? Does that sound impossible to do? In this weeks tip, I will give you reasons why you should try to meet that goal and how you can do it, easily.

Try to go for a variety of kinds and colours of fruits and veg, to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Your best bets are dark leafy greens, and anything that's rich yellow, orange, or red in colour; the more brightly coloured the vegetable, the more protective the health benefits.

For your health:
  • they are low fat, low calorie, high fibre, and high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients.
  • protection against heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal troubles.
  • the antioxidants can help ward off the effects of aging.
  • they help your body maintain a proper ph balance (more about your body's ph balance, and acidic and alkaline foods in next week post!)
  • they help with weight control
  • blue and purple fruits and veg give you extra protection against some types of cancer and urinary tract infections.
  • green fruits and veg help lower cancer risk, improve eye health and keep bones and teeth strong.
  • white/tan/brown veg help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
  • yellow, orange and red fruits and veg help promote heart and vision health and a healthy immune system.
So what's in a serving?

  • 1 medium piece of fruit
  • 1 cup cut up or cooked fruit
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup berries or grapes
  • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables
  • 2 cups raw leafy green vegetables
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup cooked or canned beans or peas
Looking for ways to get more in your diet?
  • make smoothies for breakfast, include a banana, some berries, hempseeds and a handful of spinach or other greens
  • keep precut veggies in your fridge for easy access, or make a big fruit salad to snack on during the day.
  • have a big salad or a veggie wrap for lunch.
  • grate carrots and zucchini into sauces or baked goods (like muffins).
  • instead of having a starch with your protein and vegetable at dinner, have 2 vegetables.
  • commit to trying a vegetable once a month, then use it in a different recipe each week for the remainder of the month. (if you don't like it the first time you make it, try it a different way, before you write it off completely).
  • get juicing!
In good health,

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