Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health. Failing to eat enough fruits and vegetables is also the number one dietary risk for poor health.
In Colorado, only 11% of children aged 1-14 years old met the daily requirement of 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day between 2010-2012.
Benefits of Fruits & Vegetables in Your Diet
Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce risk of heart disease & stroke
- Prevent some types of cancer
- Lower risk of eye problems
- Improve digestion
- Regulate blood sugar
- Boost school performance in children
A serving of fruits or vegetables is approximately one cup (cooked or raw). A serving of greens is two cups and a serving of dried fruit is a half cup.
Experts agree that the average adult should eat 5-9 cups of fruits and vegetables per day and children should eat at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables per day.
New evidence suggests that certain fruits and vegetables are more important for a healthy diet, including:
- Dark leafy greens like:
- Dark orange & red vegetables like:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red peppers
The Centers for Disease Control offers an easy calculator to determine an individual’s recommended number of fruits and vegetables per day.