9 Quick Fixes to Boost Your Fruit and Veggie Intake

fruits and vegetablesHere are nine easy ways to ensure you eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

1. Eat on the go.
An apple, orange, banana, and pear are all portable fruits you can eat on the go without advance prep. Fruits provide vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant enhancing the body’s response to free radicals and protecting the arteries from oxidative damage.

2. Salads.
Shop the produce shelf for ready-made salads. Select dark green, leafy lettuce varieties, such as romaine, endive, and spinach.

3. Pizza.
Top your pizza with extra chunks of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach leaves, and pineapple. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that directly impact heart health, including potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate

4. Breakfast.
Use strawberries, bananas, blueberries and other fruits to pancakes, waffles, and toast. Colorful berries are a rich source of polyphenols and antioxidants.

5. Vegetable snacks.
Snack on raw baby carrots, pepper slices, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery. Cardiac physician Mark Houston recommends consuming 4 stalks of celery daily.

6. Fruit snacks.
Keep one-serving size bags of dried fruit in your car or desk for a convenient and still healthy snack. A 1/4 equal one-serving of dried fruit.

7. Pasta and omelets.
Mix in frozen or fresh vegetables with your pasta and omelets. Canned vegetables are high in sodium, while frozen or fresh vegetables usually have no added sodium.

8. Soup and sauces.
Boost nutritional value of soups and sauces by adding a kidney beans, green beans, corn, or peas. Beans provide both soluble and insoluble fiber to promote healthy cholesterol levels.

9. Smoothies.
Enjoy a healthy, refreshing smoothie made with frozen fruit, yogurt, and ice. Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to boost omega 3’s.

Remember… your goal is to consume 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY.