How Much Fruits and Vegetables is Enough?
You have probably heard that you should strive to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but what you may not have heard is the average person actually needs about 9 servings a day for optimum health. A serving being about 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables or about 65 calories worth of fruit. When setting government guidelines for nutrition, researchers concluded the average American consumes about 1 and a half servings of fruits and vegetables a day (and that’s counting the tomato and lettuce on their hamburger!) The guidelines were set low at 5 servings, because they didn’t think people would take the goal of nine servings a day seriously. Every activity we do throughout the day, including activities like concentration and digestion cause oxidative damage in the cells of our body. Only the vitamins and phyto-nutrients in fruits and vegetables can help our body correct this oxidative damage. Most of us woefully underestimate the amount of fruits and vegetables it takes to keep us in balance. Each meal should include 2-3 servings of fruits and or vegetables and each snack at least one serving.