A diet loaded with fruit and vegetables helps in reducing the risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, and a lot of other health-related problems.
It is equally important to eat non-starchy fruit and vegetables like pears, apples, and leafy greens that may help in reducing weight as well as prevent sugar spikes that result in increased hunger due to their lower glycemic loads.
The lists of fruits and vegetables would remain potentially uncovered if you don’t know how many servings you need in a course of a day to satiate your needs. To ensure that you’re having diversified beneficial nutrients, it is important to add vegetables and fruit to your diet.
What are some Healthier Vegetables and Fruit?
Eating vegetables and fruit may be the easiest way to remain on track, control your weight, and improve your health.
Every vegetable and fruit is rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, but many of them stand out in providing exceptional benefits and preventing numerous diseases including cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and vertigo.
To know how many servings of vegetables and fruit you need, first, you should know what kind of vegetables and fruit should be taken, and what should be avoided for specific reasons.
Types of Fruits
Most of the fruit that we consume generally has seeds. Some of the fruit can be eaten raw. Commonly available types of fruit include:
- Pears and apples
- Stone fruit – apricot, plums, nectarines, and peaches
- Citrus – grapefruits, limes, oranges, and mandarins
- Berries – raspberries, blueberries, passionfruit, strawberries, and kiwi
- Tropical and exotic – mangoes and bananas
- Avocados and tomatoes
- Melons – honeydew melons, rockmelons, and watermelons
Types of Vegetables
Vegetables are found in many varieties and are categorized into families and groups, such as:
- Cruciferous – cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprout, and cabbage
- Leafy greens – silverbeet, spinach, and lettuce
- Root – yam, sweet potato, and potato
- Marrow – zucchini, pumpkin, and cucumber
- Allium – shallot, garlic, and onion
- Edible plant stem – asparagus and celery
Every vegetable and fruit contains nutrients and vitamins that you should consume in your diet, but some of the fruit and vegetables should be avoided if you have some health problems.
Potatoes: Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates that is why nutritionists suggest taking it as a grain intake while putting them on your plate. A large-sized potato contains about 150 calories, which can trigger health issues for people with diabetes. It’s not a good choice for people who want to lose weight.
Corn: A cup of corn contains about 180gms of calories and 40 gms of carbohydrates. People with diabetic issues should avoid consuming corn, because it will trigger high blood sugar.
Melons: Glycemic Index (GI) plays a vital role in preventing you from several diseases. Many fruits are low on GI, but sweet fruit like pineapples and melons are on the medium level at GI. Therefore, consuming melons can trigger health complications for diabetic patients. For a watermelon, the GI is relatively high (approx. 70), but it is considered a safe choice to include in the daily diet.
Mangoes: Mangoes are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, but are rich in carbs and sugar. One mango provides you with about 26 gm of sugar and 30 gm of carbohydrates. If you are suffering from diabetes, but you can’t resist having a mango, think again.
Fruits and Vegetables servings for a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy diet routine is a challenge, as fast-food rules the roost today. A 1-2-3 approach will provide you a pack of servings that will help you maintain a healthy fruit and vegetable intake.
- 1 with breakfast
- 2 with lunch
- 3 with dinner
A common serving estimate for a normal individual is about 4 to 6 oz of fruit at a time. However, the size of a serving can be changed according to the type of food you consume. For instance:
- If you’re having leafy greens, you can have three cups
- If you’re having legumes, a half cup serving is enough
- If you’re having cooked vegetables or fruit, a single cup serving is enough
Incorporate the Right Number of Veggies and Fruit into your Meals
You can easily add raw veggies and fruit to your everyday meals by adhering to the following mealtime ideas.
- Breakfast: Add a handful of kale or spinach to your favorite frozen or fresh fruit and blend them to make a healthy smoothie. Or mix berries and chopped fruit to your cereals. Or just have an apple in your breakfast
- Lunch: Add veggies in your soup, make a salad, bake broccoli to go with pasta, or ask to add an extra vegetable to your wrap if you’re eating outside
- Dinner: You can have grilled vegetables with patties, steam roast with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and other veggies. You can also add fruit to your dessert.
Don’t be afraid to have more than the suggested servings, because when it comes to vegetables and fruit, more is always better.