Fruits and vegetables: Are you eating enough?

February is Heart Month and eating a healthy diet plays an important role in preventing heart disease

February is Heart Month and eating a healthy diet plays an important role in preventing heart disease.

If I had to recommend just one thing people could do to eat healthier it would be to eat more vegetables and fruit. Research clearly connects vegetable and fruit consumption to health and longevity.

Most Canadians still fall short of the Canada Food Guide recommendation for adults to eat seven to 10 servings a day. How many servings of vegetables and fruit did you eat yesterday? Before you count, consider how big a serving size actually is. One serving of vegetables is half a cup chopped (fresh, frozen or canned) or one cup of raw leafy greens. One serving of fruit is half a cup chopped (fresh, frozen, or canned) or a whole medium sized fruit. A half cup of 100 per cent fruit or vegetable juice also counts as a serving but it is better to eat whole fruits and vegetables than to drink juice because fruit juices are a concentrated source of sugar and store-bought vegetable juices are usually high in salt.

Seven to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit may sound like a lot. If you are not accustomed to it, the volume can seem daunting. Many vegetables are very low in calories so you do get a lot of nutrients, fibre, and disease fighting phytochemicals in very few calories. For example, a cup of spinach has just seven calories and provides fibre as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron that support good health.

With year-round availability and many convenient options, it’s never been easier to eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Here are some tips to help.

• Aim for half a plate of vegetables at lunch and supper.

• Buy berries when in season. Freeze for easy nutritious desserts or for adding to smoothies or home baking.

• After you shop, pre-pack baggies of chopped vegetables to bring to work or to send to school.

• Keep frozen vegetables on hand for a quick and easy side dish.

• Buy kale or spinach in season or on sale. Wash it, cut it and put it in the freezer to add to smoothies, soups, and sauces.

• When you make a salad, prepare enough greens and cut up vegetables to have a salad another day.

-The author, Tara Stark, is a community nutritionist with Interior Health.

 

 

Just Posted

Sicamous Eagles lose two on the road

Despite late offensive surges, the Sicamous squad came up short in Spokane and the Beaver Valley.

What financial commitments do you want from candidates running for prime minister?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

Salmon Arm councillors examine dangerous bike routes

A tour of problem areas was conducted in downtown Salmon Arm

Survey: Salmon Arm houses cheaper to buy than many towns in B.C.

Only places with lower average price per square foot in study were northern communities

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Shuswap elementary enrolment numbers two times higher than projections

Estimates show increases mainly between four schools

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read