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Healthy Living

Fruit

What is "5 A Day"?

More is better when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is the simple "5 A Day" message, and a smart strategy for better health.

Fruits and vegetables taste great, give you energy throughout the day and in general are:

    Veggies
  • colorful and crunchy
  • easy to prepare
  • low in fat
  • low in calories
  • cholesterol-free
  • full of vitamins, minerals and fiber

Take the "5 A Day Challenge"

The "5 A Day Challenge" is a simple and easy way to help improve your health. By taking the challenge, you'll see how easy it is to add fruits and vegetables to your eating plan, first for a day, then for a week, and ultimately for a lifetime.

Invite a group of coworkers, family members or friends to challenge you in eating more fruits and vegetables, and in sharing good health! Try some of these fun and creative ways to involve your group in the "5 A Day Challenge":

  • Find out who has the largest selection of fruits and vegetables in his or her house or pantry.

  • Count the number of fruit and vegetable servings each person has eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Award a special prize to those who have eaten at least 5 servings each day.

  • Make snacking more interesting by competing with friends to see who can snack on the largest variety of fruits and veggies.

  • See who can plan the most interesting "5 A Day" menu.

Easy "5 A Day" tips

Most people eat about three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Use the following tips to build your fruit and vegetable intake up to the minimum of five a day:

  • Start the day with fruits and vegetables. A 6-ounce glass of juice, such as orange or grapefruit, and a sliced banana or berries on your cereal can give you a delicious, low-fat, high-fiber head start.

  • Fruits and vegetables are portable and can give you a quick boost of flavor and energy anytime. Pack an apple or a bag of carrot sticks, raisins, or dried apricots in your glove compartment, purse, or briefcase.

  • On the run? Keep fruits and vegetables within easy reach. Put a bowl of fruit on the counter in the kitchen. Make sure fruits and vegetables are clearly visible when you open the refrigerator. Cut up your favorite vegetables to store in recloseable plastic bags. If you see it, you may be more likely to eat it.

  • Stock up for the week. Keep a variety of fruits and vegetables, fresh, frozen, canned, dried, in your refrigerator, cupboard and freezer.

  • Fixing a meal in a hurry? The microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare vegetables while preserving nutrients. Pop a potato in the microwave at the end of a hectic day and top it with salsa for a quick meal. Add microwaved broccoli and corn to your zesty spud and you've got a colorful, tasty and nutritious meal. For dessert, have a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt topped with fresh berries or sliced peaches.

What's a serving?

Eating five or more servings a day is easy. And one serving is less than many people think.

One serving is:

  • One medium fruit, such as an apple, banana or orange.
  • 1/2 cup cut-up fruit, such as fruit salad.
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, apricots or dates.
  • 3/4 cup or 6 ounces fruit or vegetable juice, such as grapefruit or tomato.
  • 1/2 cup raw or cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini
  • 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables, such as romaine or green leaf lettuce.

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