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Eating Healthily: How to Achieve the 2 and 5 Rule
According to leading health authorities, we should consume at least 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables daily as part of a healthy diet and to improve our body’s well-being. As studies have shown, a lifestyle that includes adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables can help prevent and reduce the risk of developing cancer, constipation, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is important that one consumes adequate amounts of F&V to ensure that the body is getting the nutrients it needs daily for optimal health.
Researchers found that in Australia, the average adult eats only 2-3 servings of vegetables a day (half the recommended amount) and 1-2 servings of fruit a day. This means that, on average, many people still need to try and increase their daily intake of fruit and vegetables to ensure that their body is getting the recommended nutritional needs.
However, the main reason why the average person eats less than half of the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and why many people struggle to follow this rule, is that eating 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables means you should be eating a lot. Examples of services are described below.
One serving of fruit is equal to:
- 1 piece of fruit, such as apples, oranges, and bananas, or;
- 6 strawberries, or;
- 15 grapes, or;
- A cup of freshly squeezed juice
One serving of vegetables is equal to:
- One cup of cooked vegetables
- 1 whole tomato
- 10 baby carrots
- 1 cup salad vegetables
So, in a hypothetical example, to achieve the 2 and 5 rule you would need to eat 2 slices of apple, 3 cups of salad greens, 10 baby carrots and another full cup of cooked vegetables. And remember, we haven’t even considered protein and carbohydrates (essential in a healthy lifestyle) yet.
So, how can you ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables to meet your optimal nutritional needs?
Below are some ideas that will help you achieve your goals.
- If you are not usually a fruit eater, drink your favorite squeezed juice for breakfast. That’s your daily recommended fruit care! (Be sure to avoid long-lasting juices and juices with added sugar. They don’t provide many nutrients and are high in calories!)
- For a snack during the day, eat baby carrots with low-fat dips like hummus. (That’s 1 serving of vegetables)
- Look for healthy recipes that include more fruits and vegetables in the ingredients.
- Make sure you always include vegetables in your lunch and dinner.
- For lunch, it’s a good idea to add tomatoes, beetroot and onions to your sandwich and have a fresh salad and light dressing on the side.
- For dinner, always eat the main meal with a salad. If roasting, add vegetables like capsicum, onion, beans and bean sprouts.
- If you’re still having a hard time meeting the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables for a healthy body (ie. if you’re a little hungry, or you’re trying to lose weight and want to reduce your portion sizes, or you just don’t like the taste of fruits and vegetables in general), your body needs the nutrients and It is still possible to ensure that the level of vitamins is obtained.
- I personally find an easy solution to this problem and use it myself. By taking high-quality supplements packed with the right combination of nutrients, you can ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs every day. By avoiding nutritional deficiencies, it can help increase your energy levels, reduce your risk of illness and disease, and keep your body and life in optimal shape.
Remember, getting healthy requires a lifestyle change. Even if you take supplements (which are great for getting all the important nutrients and vitamins your body needs), you can never supplement unhealthy foods. A healthy diet and developing a healthy diet is still fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. If you need to make major changes to your current diet, start small and set your goals. This will ensure that you stay on track for healthy well-being and maintain your motivation.
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