Even with all of the advertisements, warnings and health recommendations a shockingly low percentage of Americans are eating the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables. Despite what we know about the dangers of obesity and the health benefits of consuming fresh veggies and fruits, less than a third of adults are eating the RDA of fruits and barely a quarter are eating the RDA of vegetables.
Though seniors, as a group, rank much higher than the national average in consumption of both fruits and vegetables there are still fewer than half of people over the age of 65 eating enough fruits and under 30% taking in enough veggies.
For people who have grown accustomed to living without fruits and vegetables in their diet, consuming two or more servings of fruits and three or more servings of vegetable per day can sound like an overwhelming amount, but getting your RDA of isn’t nearly as difficult as it may sound.
You can incorporate fruit very easily into a variety of meals – slice a banana into your cold cereal at breakfast or toss a handful of blueberries or strawberries into your oatmeal; mix diced peaces or pineapple into some cottage cheese at lunch and mix some raspberries and granola into a cup of plain yogurt as healthy desert or in between meal snack and you’ve more than covered your fruit quota for the day.
When it comes to veggies there seem to be a lot of picky eaters out there, but great ways to get them into meals are to incorporate them right into the main dishes. Mix spinach, mushrooms and peas into lasagnas and other pasta dishes, make stir fries; top sandwiches with lettuce and tomato and if worse comes to worse and you still can’t seem to hit the RDA with solids, turn to juices to meet your needs.
Consult your doctor or health aide prior to making any changes in your regular diet or if you have any questions regarding transitioning to a healthier diet. It’s also important to talk to your doctor or health aide if you plan on beginning a new exercise program or if you are considering taking any nutritional supplements in order to ensure that your plan of action is safe.