By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
We’ve got some simple guidelines to consider for a healthier, happier life full of fruits and vegetables
1. Avoid processed “junk” foods.
The longer you can limit them in your diet, the better you will feel. Seriously – no one ever died from stuffed-crust pizza withdrawal.
2. Choose as many local, seasonal, organic foods as possible.
Soups, smoothies and salads are easy, fun meal choices that help you integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
3. Eat smaller amounts more often.
Eating just enough to nourish yourself without going beyond what is comfortable is at the heart of being kind to your body.
What counts as a serving for fruits & veggies?
– 1 cup leafy greens, berries or melon chunks
– 1/2 cup cut or cooked fruits and vegetables (broccoli, carrots, pineapple…)
– 1 medium piece of fruit or vegetable (apple, plum, peach, orange)
– 6 ounces natural, fresh 100% fruit/vegetable juice
– 1/4 cup dried fruit (sulfur free)
4. Consider how you prepare your food so you get the most nutrients out of it.
Ditch the deep fryer and instead, bake, broil, grill, roast, and steam your food.
5. Eat a rainbow every day.
Essentially the properties that give each fruit or veggie its rich color are the same elements that help protect our immune systems. Each color family is rich in important micronutrients. The American Cancer Society recommends choosing at least one representative from each color family per day.
6. Think about protein in a new way.
The typical American plate is 50% animal protein, 25% overcooked vegetable and 25% starch like white potatoes. Health advocates recommend recreating your plate by shifting to 50% plant foods like vegetables or some fruit, 25% lean protein and 25% whole grain.