How much fruit do you eat each day?
Fruit is an important part of eating for a longer life and the goal for Long Life Eating is 3 to 5 servings of fruit each day. Does that sound like a lot? I wanted to give you some great suggestions how to get those necessary servings in each day.
Have a piece of fruit with breakfast every day. Toast and an apple. A roll and a banana. A bowl of cereal and berries. Yogurt with cantaloupe. Fruit is the perfect breakfast companion food. Make it a mandatory part of your day’s start.
How about citrus as your mid-morning snack? Most of us have a mid-morning snack. Make your choice an orange! One serving a day of citrus cuts the risk of mouth cancer – the seventh most common cancer – by 67 percent, according to an Italian analysis of 16 studies. Like a variety? Try a different citrus fruit every week, from blood oranges to sweet-tart Mineolas, juicy clementines to luscious navel oranges, tart white or yellow grapefruit to sweet red grapefruit.
Another way to get your fruit servings in is to have fruit for dessert six nights a week. When scientists for the giant US cereal company General Mills measured antioxidants in fruit, the winning choices read like the perfect shopping list: Blackberries, Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, red plums, black plums, red grapes, red apples, green grapes, nectarines, bananas, kiwi and pineapple. Why not eat a bunch of them at once? Having a fruit salad after dinner most nights of the week equals at least two produce servings and a huge variety of good or you phytochemicals. If a fruit salad is too hard to make just make your dessert a handful of strawberries, or a peach or banana slices topped with orange juice. Fruit is the perfect way to end a nice meal.
Another great idea is to keep frozen fruit on hand. It’s a perfect summertime Sunday project. Visit the farmer’s market or pick your own fruit farm, get a large quantity of your favorite berries or tree fruit, take it home, clean it all, and pack it up for the freezer. Then you’ll have year-round local produce, perfect for blender drinks, pies, sauces, salads, and toppings for the special healthy dessert treat. Don’t want to do the work yourself? Most food stores sell frozen fruit.
How about canned fruit? Canned fruit is nearly as nutritious as fresh fruit. We love mandarin oranges packed in juice, low sugar peach slices, pineapple tidbits, and unsweetened cherries. Have a half cup over oatmeal or high-fiber cereal at breakfast; spoon some onto yogurt and top with a dusting of good fat-rich walnuts at lunch; or heat with your favorite warm spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg) thicken with a little cornstarch, and serve with chicken or ham. We love single-serving, pull-top canned fruit, too. Toss a can into your tote bag along with a plastic spoon, and you’ve got a healthy take along snack.
Let’s shop European-style! That is, stop at a fruit market every few days, buy small amounts of what looks the best, and eat it within a day or two. This is so much more pleasant than buying large bags of the same old stuff at the chain grocery store every two weeks. And even if the fruit costs more at the small market, you’ll probably save money by eating everything you buy. Sadly, when you buy infrequently , you tend to throw out more than you realize due to spoilage.
I, sadly, am one to go to the grocery store and stock up on fruit and vegetables and at the end of the week throw a good portion away. I am going to commit today to start shopping every few days and just buy small amounts and try and hit those Farmers Markets for the freshest fruit and the best variety. How about you?
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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