The red section of USDA’s MyPlate illustrates the fruit food group. Make sure that half of your plate has fruits and vegetables. Fruits offer nutrients vital for a healthy and well maintained body. Those who eat more fruits and vegetables as a part of a balanced and healthy diet are more likely to reduce risks of many chronic conditions and diseases.
Any fruit or 100% fruit juice is a part of the fruit group. You can choose fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruit, but you should go easy on the fruit juice. There are a number of foods in the fruit group to include:
The amount of fruit each person needs is contingent upon their level of regular physical activity, age and gender. As a benchmark, an adult woman needs about 1.5-2 cups of fruits every day, and a man needs about 2 cups. What is important to remember is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, and that will almost assuredly ensure that you are taken in enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
More times than not, fruit measurements are required in cups. One cup of fruit, ½ cup dried fruit, or 100% fruit juice can be considered as a cup within the fruit group.
In other words:
Fruit provides you with vital nutrients such as dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid) that are often underconsumed. A well balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases. Some of the health benefits associated with eating fruit include:
The USDA offers many tips on how to increase your daily fruit intake. Here are a few that may help you:
There are a few recipes that can also help to increase your daily fruit intake. Here’s an example, and more can be found at the MyPlate website.
Cucumber Yogurt Dip
2 cups plan low fat yogurt
2 large cucumbers
½ cup non fat sour cream
Tablespoon of lemon juice
Tablespoon of fresh dill
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 cup broccoli – preferably florets
1 cup carrots
Seed, peel and grate the cucumbers. Slice them and set aside
Mix grated cucumbers, yogurt lemon juice, dill, garlic and sour cream in a serving bowl and chill for an hour.
Arrange tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots on a plate or platter and serve with dip.