veggiesResearchers at the Johns Hopkins University are reporting that American's are eating fewer vegetables than in the past.

Out of two surveys taken since 1994, the percentage of those meeting the goal of three or more servings of vegetables a day dropped from 38% to 35% in the most recent study. Surprisingly, in this survey, french fries count as vegetables and the percentages still dropped. Fruit consumption remained steady, although only 28% met the recommended goal of at least 2 fruit servings a day. And overall, only 11% met both the fruit and vegetable recommendations.

Not surprisingly, this seems to reflect the increases in disease and death we read about daily.

How can you add more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start your day with lots of fruit for breakfast
  • Add fruit to your cereal
  • Make an all fruit smoothie for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack
  • Bring a bowl of fruit or whole melon for lunch
  • Start dinner with a salad and veggies
  • Have a large salad for dinner as your entree
  • Snack on dried fruits and veggies (careful, organic and unprocessed only)
  • Add fresh veggies to your pizza
  • Keep fruit handy throughout the day for snacks (bananas, dates and apples are great snacks)
  • Make a chocolate 'shake' ... frozen bananas, carob powder, dates and water
  • Make a 'green smoothie' for lunch or snacks... greens (kale,romaine,spinach) and bananas, celery and bananas... delicious
  • Always select fresh and preferably organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned and bottled, they are always processed and most often heated or pasteurized (which reduces most of the nutrients and kills the enzymes).

How about your children? They are developing and keeping them nourished with the right foods is especially critical. Here are additional suggestions to help them benefit from fruits and vegetables:

  • Set a good example with your own diet.
  • While shopping, let kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try.
  • Kids often like foods served separately, so don't mix vegetables on their plate.
  • Offer children a choice of fruits at lunch.
  • Top kids' cereal with berries or a smiley face made of sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.
  • Use cut-up vegetables as part of afternoon snacks.
  • Let kids decide on the dinner vegetables or what goes into salads.
  • If children are old enough, let them help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits and vegetables.

Read more at WebMD.

To your best health!


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