Fruits and Vegetables- 1) Many food classification systems lump fruits and vegetables together because they have similar benefits. - INADEQUATE fruit and vegetable intake has been linked to shorter life and greater risk of illness, especially CVD (Martínez-González MÁ, 2011) and cancer (Parkin DM, 2011). - Also adequate fruit and vegetable intake has been suggested to be protective against excess weight gain (i.e. overweight and obesity) (Maskarinec G et al., 2006). This is not necessarily causal, but changing to more fruit and vegetable based diet has been shown to significantly decrease calories in the diet (Maskarinec G et al., 2006), which would help with weight loss. - This year it’s time to explore locally grown fresh produce, so TAKE ADVANTAGE. You can even join a local CSA program ( http://csafarms.ca/index.html ). - Target about 7-10 servings per day for both together ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php ). - When weight management is a goal, consider both fruits and vegetables separately. - Remember that the carbohydrates coming from whole fruits and vegetables are much more complex than the “processed” ones coming in refined grains.
2) Fruits - Significant source of natural fruit sugars. - Flavorful and can be ++ beneficial to creating fruit smoothies – caution with amounts. - If you are managing your weight, remember to use a) whole fruits, b) dried fruits then c) juice.
3) Vegetables - Some are significant sources of natural starches (i.e. starchy vegetables = potatoes, carrots, squash, turnip, etc...), but only countable carbohydrates when cooked. - Tendency is to overcook (mushy). Ideal is steaming for 10 mins. - If you are managing your weight, remember to use a) fibrous vegetables, then b) starchy vegetables.
4) Tips to add more into your diet. - Make a point to have 2- 3 servings of fruits and vegetables at each meal. Ideally use a combination of both at each meal. - When managing your weight, attempt to consume at least 5-6 servings of fibrous vegetables (non-starchy), then the rest of your servings can come from whole fruits and/or starchy vegetables. - Eat egg scrambles / omelets at breakfast with lots of fibrous vegetables. - Fruit and vegetable smoothies are a great way to incorporate adequate servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily intakes. · Use a blender vs. a juicer keeps the fiber in the fruits and vegetables. · Use water to change the volume of the finished product without adding calories to the smoothie. · Combine vegetables with a bit of fruit and you will mostly taste the fruit item. o Sample Recipe: My wife and I use this (and others) daily and blend in our Vitamix, then portion into about 3 – 4 sealed glasses so we can bring them with us for our day. Our fruit and veg intake has increased significantly since incorporating this. o 4 cups spinach/kale (raw, rinsed) o 2-4 whole carrots (raw, washed or peeled) o 1 cup frozen mixed berries or 2 cups frozen whole strawberries. o 1 whole banana (or more to taste) o 1-3 cups water to bring up to volume o TIP: I often use one of these post workout. You could add Greek Yogurt or Protein powder to increase protein content.
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Citations: Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC. 16. The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010. Br J Cancer. 2011 Dec 6;105 Suppl 2:S77-81. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.489.