According to telephone survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention we are eating even fewer fruits and vegetables than we were 10 years ago.

Why worry so much about fruit/vegetable intake?

Fruits and vegetables have a direct impact on health and rising health care costs are a major concern in our country.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy weight and prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, and other health complications. If you have high blood pressure this is especially relevant to you. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been shown to lower blood pressure levels in as little as 2 weeks. The DASH diet includes 8-10 FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SERVINGS DAILY!

Serving Sizes

Let’s do a little review of what counts as 1 serving.

1 serving of fruit
1 medium whole fruit
½ cup canned, fresh, or frozen fruit
4 oz. fruit juice
¼ cup dried fruit

1 serving of vegetables
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
½ cup cut up raw or canned vegetables
½ cup vegetable juice

Tips to boost fruit and vegetable intake

Here are a few tips to easily boost your fruit and vegetable intake:

  1. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table or counter as a visual reminder and quick/easy grab.
  2. Purchase dried, frozen, and canned (in light syrup or packed in it’s on juice) fruit, along with fresh fruit so you always have a fruit option on hand.
  3. Stock up on frozen vegetables which are quick and easy to microwave.
  4. Buy fresh veggies that are easy to prepare, such as pre-washed bags of leafy greens.
  5. Get in the habit of having at least 1 fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack.

What steps will you take to increase your fruit and vegetable intake?

Author's Bio: 

Be sure to sign up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure provided by dietitian Lisa Nelson at