According to the food pyramid, we should be eating 5 to 12 servings of fruits and veggies everyday. This averages out to about 7 to 9 servings per day. First of all, just what the heck is a serving? It sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite a small portion. Here are a few examples of “one serving”:
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 ounces of lean meat
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (1/2 cup of other veggies)
- 1 medium sized fruit such as apples, and bananas
- ¾ cup of fruit juice
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 2 ounces of cheese
Although 7 servings of veggies isn’t a lot to eat, many people aren’t getting enough each day. I find it easier to get enough veggies each day if you buy a lot of veggies when you go shopping. After all, you can’t just let the veggies go bad and not eat them, right? A quick glance at my last week’s grocery list, here’s all the fresh fruits and vegetables I bought:
- 4 lb bag of carrots
- Sing Gua (A Chinese style cucumber)
- Yu Choy
- Lotus roots
- Red and green peppers
- Winter melon
- Chinese cabbage
- Romaine lettuce
There are plenty of fruit and vegetable in the fridge to feed my family for this week. We probably won’t be able to finish all of it, but there won’t be much left by the end of the week. The thing is, there are many wonderful ways of cooking these veggies that make them so delicious.
Why should you eat more veggies? We all know that vegetables are good for you. It contains all types of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and the all-important fiber. Eating a lot of fiber prevents constipation, and you got it, eating a lot of veggies will give you fiber.
Do you find that you’re often constipated? Try eating more veggies instead of relying on quick fix solutions like Metamucil, which is just a fiber/laxative supplement. Why spend money buying fiber supplements when you can get the best fiber from the natural thing? Prevention is always better than a quick fix!
Did you know that eating carrots could help you live longer? I bet not. Studies have shown that people with a high level of beta-carotene were less likely to die young than people who had low levels of beta-carotene. If you don’t know what beta-carotene is and where to get it: beta-carotene is found in vegetables like carrots and yams, especially carrots. It’s what gives the color pigment for the carrots.
According to the National Cancer Institute, eating vegetables high in vitamin C such as broccoli, alfalfa, and citrus fruits lowers your risk for cancers of the mouth, stomach, rectum, breast, and pancreas.
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