You’re most likely not eating these essential health foods

essential health foods

Most likely, when you were growing up, in school your teachers showed you a food pyramid. Each colored block indicated the recommended serving of each essential food group. Maybe in your earlier years you didn’t have many issues following these guidelines, but it’s probably been a while since you last saw this image.


Let’s give you a bit of a refresher…

Recommended servings according to for a 2000-calorie diet
Grains6 oz. every day
Vegetables2 ½ cups every day
Fruits2 cups every day
Milk3 cups every day
Meat and beans5 ½ oz every day

It doesn’t seem like a lot once you break it down, but new research has shown that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, Americans aren’t having enough.

1 in 10 Americans eat recommended serving of fruits and vegetables

recommended serving of fruits and vegetablesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only one in 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. To be more specific 13 percent of the American population consumes the serving amount for fruits daily and less than nine percent reaches the recommended amount of vegetables.

The CDC’s report notes even though residents of California have the highest amount of people who eat healthy, they too fall behind with only 13 and 18 percent of their population eating the recommended fruit and vegetable servings.

In the lowest group, come residents from Tennessee and Mississippi.

Authors of the new report from the CDC suggest bigger efforts to promote eating fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables offer essential nutrients, which are important for overall good health. Let’s explore some benefits that this food group can provide.

Benefits of fruits and vegetables

Benefits of fruits and vegetablesThe consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of many illnesses including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables are commonly low in fat with no cholesterol, which not only helps with weight maintenance but keeps arteries clear as well.

As mentioned, fruits and vegetables provide nutrients. These nutrients are used by the body to help maintain proper bodily functions. Fruits and vegetables can boost cardiovascular and digestive health.

Here is a list of specific benefits that can be obtained from fruits and vegetables:

  • Vision health
  • Healthy blood pressure
  • Prevents constipation and diarrhea
  • Help form red blood cells
  • Reduces and maintains healthy cholesterol
  • Keeps skin healthy
  • Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Maintains oral health
  • Combats free radicals
  • Provides energy.

Really, fruits and vegetables are the key for good health and the fact many Americans aren’t getting the recommended servings can be a reason for many chronic health conditions. It is then important that we begin to incorporate more of this food group into our diet. Additionally, it’s important to relay the importance of this message to future generations as a means of preventing illness and setting them up to practice healthy habits.

How to consume more fruits and vegetables

consume more fruits and vegetablesMaybe you don’t like broccoli, or red peppers just don’t do it for you. You won’t eat things you won’t enjoy, so the secret is finding the food items you like and learning how to prepare them in a variety of ways.

Besides finding fruits and vegetables you like to eat, here are some other tricks and tips you can try:

  • Create smoothies to mask the taste of certain fruits or vegetables
  • Keep fruits and vegetables readily available in your fridge
  • Try frozen options to save time and money
  • Eat majority in the morning
  • Consume vegetables before protein
  • Add vegetables into your main meals.

These are some alternative ways you can begin to enjoy more fruits and vegetables in your diet along with their many health benefits.

Fruits and vegetables are important to eat daily as they can help ward of many illnesses. Don’t deny yourself their benefits – find easy ways to enjoy more and you’re health will improve.

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