|RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Many Americans have been told since preschool that getting five daily servings of fruits and vegetables is essential for health. Despite this common knowledge, it seems we don't eat fruit and vegetables as often as we should…or even as often as we used to.
A recent Gallup poll found that only 55.9 percent of Americans are eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables at least four days out of the week. Last year, the same poll showed that 57.8 percent of Americans were getting these servings.
The 1.9 percent drop may not seem like much on paper, but this actually equates to millions of Americans who don't get enough fruits and vegetables in their daily diets.
Are you getting yours? Our American go-go-go lifestyle doesn’t exactly allow for a stroll through the farmer's market during lunch break, or dining on a fresh green salad for dinner, while your children sit quietly enjoying their apples and oranges. However, there are simple ways you can fit fruits and veggies into your everyday menu.
To hit your five every day, as recommend by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, try these easy tips and you’ll get your daily dose in no time! And remember to buy organic, not only to avoid pesticides and toxic chemicals, but also because organic agriculture is the best hope for a sustainable food supply that can feed the world.
Here are some easy ways to eat fruits and vegetables every day:
• Keep them visible. If your fruit is in a bowl on the kitchen counter, you’ll be much more likely to grab it after your busy day, rather dive into the bag of chips hidden in the pantry.
• Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Make that a habit, as depicted on the new USDA food guide, and you’ll be well on your way to getting one to two servings in a single sitting.
• Eat them whole. The peels of most fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which many Americans are lacking in their diets. Eat them skin and all and you’ll be getting extra benefits. (Not recommended for bananas or pineapples.)