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Fruits and vegetables are superstar foods. They have lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other natural compounds the body needs. They are also low in calories and fat. All of this can help your health by lowering your:
How much produce you need is based on your age, sex, and how much you move. In general, adults should eat this much every day:
Try to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Visit the http://www.choosemyplate.gov website for more tips.
Focus on color when eating fruits and vegetables. Dark green, red, and orange vegetables are packed with good-for-you nutrients. Include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene such as:
Also include vitamin C rich foods such as:
Smoothies are great for a fast, healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert. Try them with fruit, yogurt, juice, proteins, and/or vegetables. Use a blender that can crush ice and frozen fruit to make them even easier.
It may seem easier to take a vitamin pill instead of trying to eat more produce. Research shows that it is better to get your nutrients from food. Fruits and vegetables also have hundreds of natural compounds that you cannot get from a supplement. They taste a lot better, too!
Choose My Plate—Department of Agriculture
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Dietitians of Canada
Health Canada Food and Nutrition
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed November 9, 2020.
Food groups: Fruits. Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit. Accessed November 9, 2020.
Food groups: Vegetables. Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables. Accessed November 9, 2020.
Jiang R, Jacobs DR Jr, Mayer-Davis E, et al. Nut and seed consumption and inflammatory markers in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;163(3):222-231.
Liven up your meals with fruits and vegetables. Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet10LivenUpYourMeals.pdf. Accessed November 9, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Last Updated: 1/21/2020