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The Health Benefits of Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to numerous health benefits. Fruits and veggies contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that support overall health and wellbeing. However, most people do not get enough produce in their daily diet. Thankfully, there are easy ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

How Fruits and Vegetables Support Your Health

Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial nutrients, including:

Vitamins and Minerals

Produce is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and folate. These nutrients boost immunity, support heart health, build strong bones and more.

Fiber

Fruits and veggies are excellent sources of dietary fiber. Fiber promotes digestive and gut health, helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels and aids weight management.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants found in produce fight against free radicals and oxidative stress, which are linked to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Some top antioxidant sources are berries, leafy greens, tomatoes and citrus fruits.

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are plant compounds that have various protective effects in the body. For example, lycopene in tomatoes and anthocyanins in blueberries act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Most People Don’t Eat Enough Produce

Despite the known benefits, only about 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. On average, adults get just 1.1 servings of fruit and 1.6 servings of vegetables per day. To meet dietary guidelines, you need at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables daily.

Not getting enough produce can negatively impact energy levels, immune function, digestive health and more. It also increases the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and certain cancers.

Tips to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Boosting your fruit and vegetable intake is simpler than you think. Here are some easy ways to get more healthy produce in your diet:

  • Start your day with a green smoothie made with leafy greens and fruit. It’s an effortless way to get 2-3 servings first thing in the morning.
  • Snack on fresh fruits and chopped veggies throughout the day. Keep washed and prepped produce on hand for grab-and-go snacking.
  • Add extra veggies to meals by making lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches or mixing greens into pasta dishes, soups, casseroles, etc.
  • Try meatless meals built around vegetables once or twice a week. Options include veggie omelets, salads, roasted veggie flatbreads, vegetable curries and more.
  • Purchase a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables to use in smoothies, stir frys or as quick and easy side dishes.
  • Drink 100% vegetable juice, like low sodium V8 or tomato juice, to help increase your daily vitamin and mineral intake.
  • Take a supplement, like Balance of Nature, with concentrated fruits and vegetables.

Reach Your Daily Produce Goals

A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is essential for health and vitality. Set a goal to get at least 5 servings per day. With a few simple substitutions and additions, you’ll be well on your way to reaping all the nutritional benefits produce has to offer.

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