Friday, August 25, 2006

Want To Get Healthy? Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables! by Stephanie Foster

Are you eating enough vegetables? The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.Now this may sound like a lot, but it really isn't. Despite that, an amazing number of people do not eat enough vegetables and fruits every day. Fortunately, it really is not that hard to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet.Just head to your local supermarket and look at the selection. There's plenty to choose from. Not only that, but eating healthy fruits and vegetable isn't that expensive. Many of them cost far less than you might be thinking. With a little practice and determination you can use fresh fruits and vegetables to replace unhealthier snacks.One serving is not all that much. One of the reasons many people feel overwhelmed when they hear how many servings per day they should eat is that they don't really realize how small a serving is. It's nothing close to what you get when you order the large meal at the fast food restaurant. A small apple is about the size of one serving of fruit or vegetables. That's about the size of a tennis ball, so don't get confused if you look at the huge apples that some grocery stores carry.The recommended servings come out to at least two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables a day. That's it. Think about how much food you sometimes pile on your plate. For many of you this won't be hard at all.Take advantage of the variety of fruits and vegetables available. You don't have to have a basic salad, an apple, a serving of peas, etc. each and every day. Mix it up! Add fun things to your salad such as baby corn, artichoke hearts and avocado. Try some of the fruits and vegetables you've never tried before. Make fruit salad. The variety is there for those willing to take advantage of it.Variety is important for another reason. The different fruits and vegetables have different nutrients, so this will help you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need.Getting bored despite the variety? Try some new recipes and bring them back to life. Baked apples are simple yet delicious. If you always steam your vegetables try baking them or stir frying with a very small amount of oil.Try eating different parts of the vegetables. Some people just throw out the greens on top of their beets; however I like to stir fry those and eat them too. Find out what parts are edible and stop throwing away some of the best parts.Now you may think you've been replacing the vitamins in your fruits and veggies by taking vitamin supplements. Think again.Yes, vitamins can provide the basics such as vitamins A, C and E, as well as many others, there are many other nutrients your body needs that are not available in vitamins. Vitamins from fresh sources may also be better absorbed than vitamins taken in pill form.What's the best way to save money when buying fruits and vegetables? Buy fresh, buy in season, buy local. If there's a farmer's market in your area compare its prices to those at your grocery store.What about the best way to make it easier to replace unhealthy snacks with fruits and vegetables? Most can be cut up in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Apples, pears and bananas will go brown if you don't protect them from the air. Dip them in an acidic fruit juice, such as lemon, lime or pineapple to protect them. Combine chopped up fruits and vegetables with a refusal to buy unhealthy snacks when you're actually shopping at the grocery store and you'll find you simply eat fewer of them. Most people won't run to the store for some potato chips just because they want a quick snack. They'll take what's available, and if that's something healthy, so much the better.Making the effort to get your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day isn't as hard as it seems. Take a little time and learn to enjoy them.About the AuthorStephanie Foster has been having a lot of fun learning healthier ways to cook for her family and enjoys sharing what she has learned. You can get tips and recipes at

I know that people have been saying for years and years that to stay healthy, you should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. The thing is, they are right, as this article highlights. People argue that they can just eat multi-vitamin tablets and stay healthy, this is not the case, as is becoming increasingly more acknowledged. Eat you fruit and vegetables, keep fit, and your half way to a healthy life!

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