Experts recommend 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This year I really tried to take this advice to heart. I found however, that this is really a lot of fruits and vegetables!
The new my plate recommendation recommends that you fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. This is not always easy to do. For me, the solution was packing a bag of raw vegetables every day. In it I would place several bites of radishes, broccoli, cucumbers carrots, celery, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The key is to make fruit and vegetables convenient to eat at home and on the road.
Fruits are somewhat easier. It is easy to pack grapes, bananas and apples in a bag to eat in your car or at work. The sweet taste makes them sometimes more appealing. To make vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli more appealing, I add a small amount of baked chips or vegetable chips that add some additional flavor to the raw vegetables. I substituted my hunger cue with a healthy lunch. The reward was that I felt much better than if I had eaten fast food. I further came to love The taste and textures of the raw vegetables . It became an ingrained habit.
The stakes are high. Eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death. Literally millions of premature deaths would be prevented worldwide if all people ate 5-10 portions of vegetables and fruit daily. Ashley Welch for CBS news reported a 24% reduced risk of heart disease and 33% reduced risk of stroke and 31% reduction of premature death in people who ate10 portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Food truly can be medicine