• Rebecca Round, RD

Easy Ways to Get Your 5 a Day!

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. The CDC reports that only one in ten Americans meets the minimum required intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If you are not sure if you are meeting your minimum needs, I recommend a three day food journal to see what you are eating and where you can improve.

What exactly is considered a serving?

The recommendation is 2 servings of fruit and a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables.

½ cup of cooked and 1 cup of raw vegetables is considered one serving.

One cup of fruit is considered a serving, or a small apple (lunch box sized) a small banana or half a large banana.

How can you add more vegetables and fruit to your diet?

Fruit smoothies- add fruit and a leafy green to your breakfast or lunch smoothie. Spinach and Kale are great additions that add a lot of nutrients and little flavor. The only way you’ll know it’s in there will be the distinctive green color.

Add raw fruit to your yogurt.

Add more vegetables to soups. A soup recipe calls for potatoes? Sub that out for cauliflower, carrots or broccoli.

Making pasta? Consider using zucchini noodles instead or spaghetti squash. Or even sub out half of the pasta for the veggies

Sub out starchy rice for Cauliflower rice. Make your own using a food processor or buy pre-riced frozen cauliflower.

Instead of grabbing potato chips, make a small side salad to include with your packed lunch. Raw veggies and hummus also make a crunchy healthy side. Meal prepping on Sunday and portioning out salads and raw veggies saves time and excuses for not packing a healthy lunch.

Switch out that boring baked potato for a starch that is healthier for you. Good starchy vegetables (those with more healthy fiber and vitamins) include: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, peas in the pod.

Making a commitment to eating more fruits and vegetables daily is small and sustainable change that can make a huge impact on your health!

Simple Green Smoothie

  • 1 banana, cut in chunks

  • 1/2 apple, cored and chopped or sliced

  • 1 cup white grapes

  • 1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla)

  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Recipe from: https://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/2442805032/fruit-and-veggie-smoothies/

#mealplan #nutrition #fiveaday #vegetables #healthyeating

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