Nutrition 6/1/2020

Daily fruits and vegetables?

How many fruits and vegetables do I need daily?

In this course, you will learn how many and what kinds of fruits and vegetables you need to stay healthy.

31 Cards

Fruits and vegetables are good for you – really good for you.

Fruits and vegetables provide you with vitamins you need to survive.

For example, one orange per day protects you from fatigue and a disease called scurvy, thanks to vitamin C!

Fruits and veggies also keep your stomach feeling full and your gut healthy with fiber. Fiber keeps you regular!

But how many fruits and veggies do you really need to eat per day to stay healthy?

The simple answer is that you should eat as many fruits and veggies as you can every day.

But at the very least, don’t go one day without eating a vegetable and some fresh fruit.

Sadly, most people aren’t eating enough fruits and veggies to stay healthy and prevent disease.

In the next few cards, we will look at some common recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake.

The World Health Organization recommends 400 grams or 4-5 cups of fruit and veggies per day.

Potatoes and corn don’t count towards these recommendations.

In the U.S., officials tell people to eat 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit every day. Only 1 in 10 people meet these recommendations.

You can meet these recommendations by eating roughly 1 cup of veggies and half a cup of fruit at every meal!

Eating fruits and veggies as snacks can also help you meet these recommendations.

Fruits and veggies come in many colors and flavors, all with unique blends of nutrients. So it’s best to eat a wide variety of them.

Focus on variety in color when eating fruits and veggies. Experts recommend that you eat more dark green and red-orange veggies.

In the next few cards, you’ll find some specific recommendations for a healthy intake of fruits and veggies.

Eat 1 cup or more of
dark greens every day.

Try broccoli, spinach
or dark lettuce.

Eat 1 cup or more of red-orange veggies every day.

Try tomatoes, peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

Eat 1 cup or more of legumes
every day.

Try kidney beans, lentils,
chickpeas or green beans.

Eat fresh fruit every day.

Try apples, bananas,
berries and citrus fruit.

This adds up to 3 cups of veggies of different colors…

...plus 2 cups of fruit OR 2 whole fruits (like an apple and an orange)!

But eating 5 servings per day of fruits and veggies (of various colors) isn’t always easy.

It can be difficult to keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruit…
so buy some frozen!

Blend frozen fruit into your smoothies or drop pieces into your morning oatmeal.

It can be time-consuming to cut and cook veggies. Buy them canned (low salt) or cook frozen veggie mixes on the stovetop!

If you’re struggling to eat as many fruits and veggies as you should, eat them raw as snacks...

You’ll get more nutrients from most fruits and veggies if you eat them raw or just lightly cooked.

To sum it up, eat at least 5 cups of fruit and veggies every day, in as many colors as you can.

If you only remember one thing:

Eat more dark green veggies,
red-orange veggies and fresh fruit!

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Sources
  • World Health Organization;
  • MyPlate;
  • The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating;
  • Slavin & Lloyd, 2012, doi:10.3945/an.112.002154.
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