It’s important that we eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables every day. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fibre, and other substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.
You’ve probably heard about the 5 A Day for Better Health program. It provides easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily eating patterns. It’s vital that we eat a wide variety of colourful orange/yellow, red, green, white, and blue/purple vegetables and fruit every day. By eating vegetables and fruit from each colour group, you will benefit from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre that each colour group has to offer alone and in combination.
There’s several different, yet simple ways to start incorporating vegetables and fruit into your familiar and favourite meals. You can begin your day with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, slice bananas or strawberries on top of your cereal, or have a salad with lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack. Include a vegetable with dinner and you already have about 5 cups of fruits and vegetables. You may even try adding a piece of fruit for a snack or an extra vegetable at dinner.
Don’t be afraid to try something new to increase your vegetable and fruit intake. There are so many choices when selecting fruits and vegetables. Kiwifruit, asparagus, and mango may become your new favourites! Keep things fresh and interesting by combining fruits and vegetables of different flavours and colours, like red grapes with pineapple chunks, or cucumbers and red peppers.
Get in the habit of keeping fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible – you’ll tend to eat them more. Store cut and cleaned produce at eye-level in the refrigerator, or keep a big colourful bowl of fruit on the table.