How many serving of fruits and vegetables do you eat a day? Are you getting enough? Do you know how many servings you should be eating every day for optimal health and to reduce disease?
Take a moment and answer these questions for yourself and your family. Do you have the answers for yourself? Good! Then continue reading and see how you are doing
According to WebMD.com “Under the U.S. government's latest food guidelines, five servings of fruits and vegetables may not be enough. Adults need anywhere from 7-13 cups of produce daily to get all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables -- including possible protection against obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.”
How did you rate against the previous statement? Excellent, I hope!
If you are falling a little bit short, you are not alone. You are in the same boat as most Americans. The CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, issued their State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013. The report says, “Adults in the United States consume fruit about 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day.”
A serving size of raw fruits and vegetables is about one cup, so according to this report, people are eating about 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables or 2 servings per day. This falls shockingly short of the recommended 7-13 servings per day.
How can we increase our servings of fruits and vegetables so we can increase our health and decrease chronic disease?
Dr. Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine, has some suggestions. He says, “ “I encourage blending and I do it myself.” It is one of the simplest ways to get more vegetables and fiber in the diet.
One of his favorite ways to eat more fruit and vegetables is to blend them. He recommends that his patients blend mostly vegetables along with fruit. Some of his favorite vegetables to blend are tomatoes, fennel and kale. Fruit that work well in his smoothies are blueberries or mangos.
Herbs likes ginger, or omega-3 essential fatty acids like chia seed or ground flax seeds, can be added according to personal preferences. These are great additions to help them feel satiated.
Using a powerful appliance helps to smooth out the blending. The trick is to use all the fiber in the food.
According to the website Foodmatters.tv, “smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables. However, the blending process breaks the fiber apart (which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest) but also helps create a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoids blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fiber, and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day.”
There is a difference between blending and juicing. Juicing, according to Foodmatters.tv is defined as “Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the indigestible fiber. Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients.”
When asked whether there are benefits to juicing along with or instead of blending, Friedman said, “that extracted juice causes you to miss the benefits of the fiber. I don’t see any benefits of juicing.”
Blending is “good for most people to help them lose weight, control their cholesterol and diabetes,” he said.
Adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet consistently will prevent and reduce chronic disease, and increase energy.
Isn’t that what we all want?
One great thing about blending is that you can get several servings of fruits and vegetables in one drink! Just blend it up every day and see your health transform.
If you want ideas for fruit and vegetable smoothies, you can go to HealthyDaes.com and type in green smoothies for free recipes!
Dr. Daemon Jones