Adding More Veggies and Fruits to Your Diet
Today’s “Ask the Nutrition Consultant” question comes from Mary!
Q: How many servings of vegetables and fruits should we be eating every day? And what is considered a “serving”?
A: Great question(s) Mary! Vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber which keep us healthy. For optimal health we should be aiming for 5-9 servings of vegetables per day and 1-2 servings of fruit per day.
What do serving sizes look like?
– High starch veggies: 1/2 -3/4 cup cooked (sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash, cooked carrots and beets)
– Leafy veggies: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw (arugula, collards, dandelion greens, kale, lettuces, spinach, mustard greens etc.).
– Crunchy veggies: 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or raw (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, green beans, onions, peppers, radishes, summer squash, turnips).
– Very high sugar fruits (dates, raisins and other dried fruit): 1 date, 1/8 cup dried fruit
– High sugar fruits: banana, pineapple, orange, blueberries: 1/2 cup or one small/medium banana, orange etc.
– Low sugar fruits: strawberries, raspberries, apples, grapes, melon: 1 cup
Incorporating vegetables and fruits throughout your day can be easy! You can reach these goals by:
– Having 1 to 3 cups of crunchy and leafy vegetables per meal (Arugula, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, dandelion greens, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, watercress, broccoli, carrots (raw), cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, onions, peppers, radishes, summer squash, turnips).
– Having 1/2 cup of starchy veggies 1-2 times per day.
– Eating 1-2 pieces or servings of fruit per day.
It is important to note that you want to slowly increase your veggie and fruit intake and increase your fluid consumption as well due to the high fiber content in vegetables and fruits. This will help prevent the gas and constipation that can arise when fiber intake is increased too quickly.
Helping clients discover new ways to include vegetables and fruits in their diets, sharing recipes, and helping with meal planning are some of the services I provide as a Board Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. If you’re ready to take your health to the next level, contact me to sign up for your FREE Nourish to Flourish Strategy Session!