Seminole County OSU Cooperative Extension

Research shows why eating fruits and veggies is a good idea

Research shows why eating fruits and veggies is a good idea

By Megan Logan


When you were little mom always told you to eat your fruits and vegetables. As an adult you should continue to listen to that advice.


A recent survey from the Center for Disease Control shows only 33 percent of adults are meeting the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent get the recommended servings of vegetables.


Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service nutrition education specialist, said eating a variety of fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors day to day will improve nutrition and, in turn, your immune system.


The CDC has proposed Healthy People 2010, with objectives for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily.


Hermann said a diet with fruits and vegetables is important for maintaining a healthy weight and prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. In addition, they also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber and other substances that are important for good health and most fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and are filling.


“Include 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit every day,” she said. “One cup of vegetables is equal to 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice and 2 cups of leafy vegetables. One cup fruit is considered 1 cup of fresh or canned fruit or juice and ½ cup of dried fruit.”


Tips on sneaking extra fruit into a daily diet include adding fruit to waffles, pancakes, cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. Add more vegetables to your pizza toppings or add lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber to sandwiches. Snack on vegetables like bell pepper strips and broccoli with a low-fat or fat-free ranch dip or keep dried or fresh fruit at your desk.


For additional ideas visit the CDC Web site, www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.go .


“Fruits and vegetables are an important component toward a healthy, balanced diet,” Hermann said. “By incorporating more into your daily life, you will be taking a step to making a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family.”


Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.

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