Fruit and veggies matter

178825154Study after study confirms that including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, has a positive impact on your health.

A 2013 report from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity stated that American adults consume fruit 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day. In Kentucky, 45.9 percent of adults report consuming less than one fruit a day, with 25.2 percent reporting they eat less than one vegetable a day. In adolescents those numbers are higher. Reporting that they eat fruit less than one time daily was 49.7 percent of adolescents, and eating less than one vegetable daily was 43.2 percent.

To find out how many servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating, click here.

So how do you increase your healthy food intake? First, know what a cup of fruit and vegetables look like. For example, the following represents one cup:

  • Small apple
  • Large banana
  • Medium grapefruit
  • Large orange
  • Three medium plums
  • Eight large strawberries
  • Medium potato
  • Two large stalks of celery
  • 12 baby carrots or two medium carrots
  • Large sweet potato
  • Large ear of corn
  • Large bell pepper

And eating these items doesn’t mean you have to eat a garden or fruit salad daily. The Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention suggests substituting vegetables for one of the eggs in your morning omelet. You could also add peaches, strawberries, blueberries or bananas to your cereal. At lunch, include your favorite vegetables on your sandwich or in a wrap. For dinner, add your vegetables to pasta, or make sure your dinner plate has more vegetables and/or fruits covering your plate than other items.

Louisville has a number of farmers markets where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables. For a list of local farmers markets, click here.