Everyone knows that the term “healthy diet” and “healthy menu” means regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, but do you know exactly how many of these foods you need to consume to get all the necessary nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that we find in them.
According to scientists from Harvard, the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables is – 5 servings. But how much exactly is fruit and vegetables?
How does fruit and vegetable intake affect overall health?
A study conducted by Wang et al. it compressed the results of a series of studies and data of over 2 million respondents collected over a period of 30 years. Compared to people who reported eating 2 servings of fruit or vegetables a day, people who reported eating 5 servings recorded:
- 13% lower risk of premature death from any cause
- 12% lower risk of death from heart disease or heart attack
- 10% lower risk of dying from cancer
- 35% lower risk of death from respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
“”Fruits and vegetables are the main source of a number of nutrients that are necessary for good health, and especially the health of the heart and blood vessels, such as: potassium, magnesium, fiber and polyphenols, or antioxidants,” said the study’s lead author.
What are the daily intake goals?
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The most effective amount of fruits and vegetables for optimal health, the results of the study showed, is that which consists of 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables. The biggest health benefit is in the consumption of green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, chard, etc.) and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and beta carotene (citrus, berries, carrots), which are the main source of antioxidants that help fight cancer.
At the same time, the intake of more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day did not show additional enhanced health care, as did the consumption of starchy vegetables such as peas, corn or potatoes or the intake of fruit juices.
Also, keep in mind that this is an average daily intake: if you enter less than recommended on one day, increase the intake on the second day – it is important that you be on average a weekly or monthly level of the required 5 servings.
If you are wondering how to achieve this intake, small modifications to your current habits are needed: if you eat oatmeal for breakfast, add a portion of blueberries to it and you will already get one portion of fruit. Also, add lettuce to meals or choose fruit for a snack and without much trouble you will get the desired intake of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
How Many Fruits And Vegetables Do We Really Need To Eat A Day?
How many servings of each fruit and vegetable?
Do we know how many fruits and vegetables we need to eat to enter the desired intake of 5 servings? Below we bring you a list of the most commonly consumed fruits and vegetables with the following quantities amounting to 1 serving:
Fruits or vegetables
Quantity in 1 serving
1 piece fresh or 5 dried
90 g of fruit