How Many Servings of Fruits and Vegetables A Day?

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Red Wine VinaigretteWritten By Becki Andrus

It is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are an important aspect of a healthy diet, but many people ask the question: How many servings of fruits and vegetables a day? It can be tricky to select a healthy, balanced eating plan… especially when there are so many conflicting messages about the quantities and types of foods we should be eating.

The truth is that fruits and veggies are the best health-promoting foods that you can eat! When you consume these foods in their natural form, you are eating low-calorie, high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods that are packed with the power to support your health.

Some dietary recommendations suggest that we should be eating 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Based on the countless hours of reading and research that I have done, I have determined that 3-5 servings is not a health-promoting diet!

There are numerous resources that suggest that we need to eat more fruits and veggies, the problem lies in the fact that many people are uneducated about nutrition and how foods affect their health. Our food recommendations are heavily influenced by the big-businesses such as the processed foods, meat and dairy industries.

Of course they want us to eat more of their foods, because they will have higher profits!

Think about this:

Countless studies have proven that fruits and vegetables are linked to numerous health benefits– lower cholesterol, reduced cancer risk, lower body weight, reduced heart disease risk, improve digestion, maintain blood sugar levels, etc, etc. Science has proven that eating fruits and veggies is a great way to improve health and prevent disease.

So, if fruits and vegetables help to prevent disease… why do we want to limit the amount of fruits and vegetables that we are eating?

Many people choose to (sometimes) eat the “recommended” amounts of fruits and veggies, and then they fill their stomachs with other foods that have been linked to increased rates of disease: processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar, etc.

Don’t be fooled, eating a few small servings of fruits and vegetables “meets” the requirements, but when you consider the rest of the food being eaten it is a very small calorie percentage each day.

This minimal serving recommendation provides your body with some nutrition (and “some” is better than “none”), but if you are striving for optimal health you should be consuming more fresh, plant based foods.

So, how many fruits and vegetables should you be eating every day? My answer is this: the more the better! Eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

And remember that every little bit helps, and work to add more fruits and veggies into your daily meal plans and snacks. Over time you will be able to create healthier habits, and eating fruits and vegetables everyday will become a part of your everyday living.

Recommended Reading:

With Fruits and Veggies, More Matters

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Photo credits: mellowynk
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