It should be a no-brainer that we need to fill our plates with fruits and veggies. It doesn't matter what type of diet you choose: Plant-based, Paleo, Mediterranean, Low-Carb High Fat, Bulletproof etc., the center of it should be a large amount of fruits or veggies. Even the USDA Food Plate and the better version from the Harvard School of Public Health recommends at least 50% of every meal from fruits and veggies. A survey by the American Heart Association states that only 1-1.5% of American children and adults achieve a healthy eating pattern.
For optimal health we should strive to have 10 or more servings per day.
Researchers analyzing 95 studies of two million people found that those consuming 2.5 servings of fruits and veggies lowered their risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death by 13-15%. Those who consumed 8-10 servings lowered it by 24-35%.
The best foods to fight heart related diseases are:
Along with those, to help combat cancer eat yellow and red veggies like:
EAT THE RAINBOW
Here are some easy ways to up your intake of fruits and veggies:
*Make your main dish a salad: use dark leafy greens, seeds, beans, avocados, chickpeas, raisins to add a lot of color. Top it with a healthy dressing.
*Top a baked potato with black beans or salsa, which is full of fiber and protein.
*Have a Smoothie for breakfast. Use frozen blueberries, bananas, hemp protein powder with kale or spinach.
*Enjoy a veggie wrap using a whole wheat tortilla or a steamed collard green and load it up with hummus, veggies and salsa.
*Snack on grapes, carrot sticks, bananas, celery with almond butter, broccoli florets.
*Make Grilled Veggie Kabobs, with bell peppers, onions, zucchini and even add fruit like pineapple, apples and peaches.
*Make up a batch of Beet/Black Bean burgers topped with romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado and Trader Joes Organic Butter Pickles.
*Have fruit for dessert, like frozen grapes or homemade Banana Raspberry "Nice" Cream.
*Cold-pressed juices can be found in many grocery stores. Just make sure they aren't all fruit and aren't high in sugars; get the ones that have veggies in them too! If you are lucky enough to have a "Juice Press" near you, well good for you, because I don't. Don't rub it in!
Eating 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day is the best insurance against illness and obesity. Even the most unhealthy of meals is made better when you add vegetables.
For some delicious quick and easy recipes, checkout The Happy Pear on Youtube.
Have a great week.