Healthy living = fruits and vegetables

New standards have now been set for how much vegetables and fruit we should eat daily in order to maintain optimal health. The result: nine servings.

Considering that one serving equals about one-half cup or one medium size, most people are falling well below these new standards. Actually, most people were already falling behind the outdated standard.

The value of fruit and vegetables is found in the natural bounty of antioxidants they contain. Adding the fact that fruit and vegetables are high in fiber, thereby promoting proper elimination, they are mainstays the prevention of serious disease such a cancer. Fruit and vegetables are natural sources of complex carbohydrate, so essential in a balanced diet.

So, with all the applause around the benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, why are so many falling short in this important area?

The quick, fast-food world has consumers gobbling down toxic foods that are virtually nutritionally void. These foods are cheap, easy to get and satisfy the appetite while doing little to supply the body with essential nutrients.

Taking time to prepare a salad, stir-fry or beautiful fruit salad seems overwhelming in today’s busy world.

Consumer beware. We are what we eat, and eating from the abundance of God’s natural foods, fruits and vegetables, will do much to boost our immune systems, fight disease and promote health and wellness.

Here are some lifestyle tips to help you increase your intake of fruit and vegetables:

Shop for fresh produce – stock up on fruit/vegetables for your home/work.

Plan to have fruit as the first thing you put in your stomach for the day.

Carry grapes, apples or oranges for energy boosters throughout the day.

Plan to eat one green salad daily, either at lunch or dinner.

Include cooked vegetables such as broccoli, pumpkin, carrots, callaloo, spinach with your evening meal.

Always choose a salad over fries or potato when eating out. Always!

As for mangos, are they fattening? Absolutely not when compared to the calories, sugar and fat in packaged foods such as cakes and muffins. Mangos are high in natural sugar and are high in fiber. Eat in moderation.

And thank you to the lady who responded to last week’s article on driving with the suggestion of not putting your cell phone in the trunk but rather drive with it turned on silence in the bottom of your bag.

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