You have probably heard that a healthy diet has to include 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. If I am honest, to me that the 5 servings seemed a bit complicated to understand, starting with what the hell is meant by a portion? It is not known exactly what always counts as fruit and vegetables, clarifying hope to clarify my doubts yours.
Why eat fruits and vegetables?
Mainly for two reasons, first you provide many vitamins and nutrients; on the other they are a great source of fiber, which helps to have better digestion.
What is a serving?
You may have noticed that eating a cherry or a watermelon is not the same, hence the first question that arises when talking to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables is the definition of a portion. In my example above it seems clear that a serving is not a whole fruit or vegetable.
In fact, a portion corresponds roughly to 80 grams, but again, it all depends on the type of fruit or vegetable (some are denser than others). A block count as more than 3 lots, a carrot, depending on size, from one to two servings … If you eat two blocks, it is not the same as if you eat two oranges, since the latter contain much water. Conversely, the many more concentrated, dried fruit should be consumed in smaller amounts.
What can be included as fruit and vegetables?
- Let’s start with what does not count: The potatoes (almost exclusively because they contain no flour and fiber). I am not saying it’s wrong to eat potatoes (they are an interesting source of carbohydrates and a good substitute for bread or pasta), but simply do not have the five servings daily. Nor would tell the yams, yucca, plantains, and other sources of carbohydrates.
- The beans, beans, and vegetables in general have, but only up to one meal per day (whatever it is the amount you ingest). The reason is because, despite having a lot of fiber, contain fewer nutrients than other fruits and vegetables.
- The juices include, but equally, only up to a glass a day for the reverse reason (they have little fiber content).
- Usually, other fruits and vegetables would be worth to achieve the five serving’s daily. No matter if they are frozen, canned, etc. Although it is always best fresh (better preservation of vitamins). When food is ready, check that no added sugar or too much salt. For example, many canned fruits preserved in an extremely sweet syrup, which is not healthy. They also have the nuts, but beware, being dehydrated its fat or sugar is proportionately far higher than fruits and vegetables.
As always, the better and the variety
Surely, good advice is not to try to cover everything with a single source. In theory, the information I have, it would suffice to eat two apples a day to get the five daily portions, but each fruit, each vegetable, bring different things. Therefore it is important to eat variously, trying to buy different things every time you go to the supermarket.