Eating enough vegetables and fruit each day
is important for good health. Vegetables and fruit provide us with vitamins, minerals,
fibre and antioxidants. Research shows that people who eat more vegetables and fruit lower
their risk of getting a heart attack, stroke or cancer. So, how do you know if you are
eating enough vegetables and fruit? Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adult men and women
eat 7 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. And while that may seem like a lot you
might be surprised how the number of servings can quickly add up throughout the day! So
what’s a serving size? Serving sizes for vegetables and fruit can vary. For vegetables,
generally a serving is ½ cup. For uncooked green leafy vegetables like spinach or lettuce,
a serving size is 1 full cup. For larger fruits like mangos or avocados, a serving is about
half of that fruit. For a medium sized fruit like apples, pears or peaches, it’s a serving
in itself! Which sometimes compares to the size of a tennis ball. If we’re talking
smaller fruit like grapes, berries or cherries, the serving size is ½ a cup.
For dried fruit
like raisins, a serving is about ¼ cup. Now that you know what a serving size is, consider
how many servings you are eating in a day. Are you getting enough? Well, here are some
ways you can make sure you get in your “7 a day”. Always make sure you have fresh,
frozen or canned vegetables and fruit on hand. For canned fruits and vegetables, buy unsweetened
or low sodium versions, and make sure to drain, then rinse off the excess salt or sugar.
vegetables are just as healthy as fresh and can save you lots of time in the kitchen.
Plan ahead. What meals will you cook during the week? Then make a weekly shopping list
of the vegetables and fruit you want to include. Aim to include 1or 2 servings of vegetable
or fruit at breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. This is something you can gradually work up
to. Every time you go to eat, think what fruit and/or vegetable will I include? Go for colour!
The more colour on your plate, the more nutrition your body receives.
Colourful vegetables and
fruit give us more antioxidants that may help fight off disease. Choose one green and/or
one orange vegetable and fruit daily. Try these tips to help get your 7 a day for better