Why Fruits and Vegetables?
For good health, the USDA urges American consumers to eat
more fruits and vegetables -- 5 to 9 servings per day.
They recommend 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5
servings of vegetables daily and encourage people to choose a
healthier, more varied mix of these foods.
Unfortunately, there is a trend in America towards foods
prepared away from home and take-out meals, which now account for 1/3 of
the average American's daily caloric intake. When Americans order their
restaurant or take-out meals, fruits and most vegetables seldom
make the list. USDA data indicates produce in these types of meals
accounts for less than 1/2 of a serving of fruit, and 1 1/4 servings of
vegetables. If Americans continue to eat more foods prepared away from home
and continue to eat fewer fruits and vegetables when they do, what affect
will this have on their health?
Recently, restaurants and fast-food establishments have
placed more marketing emphasis on healthful menu options such as salads and
fresh-cut fruit. Several of these products appear to be popular with
consumers, in comparison to previous industry attempts to market "healthy
choices" that did not succeed in the marketplace. Hopefully, this trend
Aim for Variety
The USDA recommends that you try many colors and kinds of
fruits and vegetables. Choose any form: fresh, frozen,
canned, dried, juices. All forms provide vitamins and minerals, and all
provide fiber except for most juices -- so choose fruits and vegetables
Aim for Antioxidants
Berries contain many beneficial micronutrients including
vitamin C and calcium. In addition,
berries are an excellent source of dietary fiber (mostly a soluble fiber
called pectin). Scientists have found that berries have
some of the highest antioxidant levels of any
fruits. Kale and spinach are the only vegetables with
oxygen radical absorptive capacity (ORAC) values as high as fresh
delicious berries. These tiny mouth-watering fruits contain
numerous health-promoting compounds. They are some of the most powerful
(and yummy) "good-for-you" foods available.
Make it easy to include plenty of different fruits and vegetables in your
meals and snacks
- When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables it is important to buy
wisely and to limit purchases so that everything can be consumed within
a few days. All of us need fresh fruits and vegetables, but balancing
the constant need to go to the store, prepare meals for your family and
work (so you have money to provide for your family) with hobbies causes
most people live a very hectic, complicated life. To help with this,
and dried fruits are a great option. They will keep
much longer and can often be rehydrated instantaneously with a little
fruits can also be kept at the office or in the car and
used as a snack between meals.
vegetables and green veggie powders are an
easy way to add greens to your diet and, like dried fruits, will not
readily spoil. Add any
or green powder to a smoothie, soup, yogurt or cereal.
Rehydrate them and use them in salads, salsa and desserts. They are
convenient and easy to use.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables will mold, spoil, whither and/or lose their
taste and texture if stored too long. To maintain good quality
fruits (except bananas) and vegetables (except
potatoes and tomatoes), they must be stored properly in a refrigerator.
For longer storage, they must be arranged so the ripest ones are used
and freeze-dried fruit powders and
powders, on the other hand, are generally packaged with an
oxygen absorber and moisture absorber. Since they have low moisture
content, they can be stored at room temperatures for many months,
sometime years. They are easily rehydrated by adding just a little
fruits can be stored at your desk or in your car for a