By Abigale MillerMedically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD
Once you start to add fruits and vegetables to your healthy eating plan, you’ll want to keep eating them. Learn what to look for when choosing produce as part of a healthy diet.
It probably doesn’t surprise you that most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. The American Dietary Guidelines suggest that each person eat four and a half cups, or nine servings, of fruits or vegetables each day. Many people find this difficult to manage, but with a little creativity and the right information, it’s as easy as (apple) pie!
Healthy Eating: Why You Need Produce
What can a diet rich in produce do for you? Besides being a delicious part of your meals, fruits and vegetables have amazing health benefits. People who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables generally have a lower incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Fruits and vegetables offer a spectacular variety of flavor, texture, and nutrition that is just waiting to be taken advantage of. Here are some tips to help you maximize the health benefits of eating produce:
Choose a produce rainbow. Richly colored fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients compared to paler ones. Jessica Begg, RD, of Flourish Wellness & Nutrition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, suggests dark-colored spinach as a healthy alternative to pale iceberg lettuce. Brightly colored produce like tomatoes, carrots, pink grapefruit, mangoes, and guava are a good source of carotenoids, a form of vitamin A that may help prevent heart disease. Continue reading