14 Sep Fruits and vegetables
The first (and most important!) part of your plate (40%) should be filled with vegetables (and a lot of them should be green please). Leafy green veggies are the powerhouse of the “plant kingdom” and most people just do not eat enough of them.
Did you notice that the portion size for veggies is a lot larger than fruits (40% versus 10%)? (That’s because fruits contain more sugars than vegetables.) This means that you want to eat more of your calories from vegetables than from fruits. Have you eaten half of your overall calories from fruits and vegetables today? If so, Bravo!!!
Fruits and vegetables take up so much of the MyPlate because they are loaded with phyto-nutrients. (OMG, five syllable word alert!) “Phyto” means plant. Nutrients, remember, are what your body needs to grow and thrive. So, yes, fruits and vegetables provide you with natural, plant-based nutrition that will help you to grow and thrive.
These “plant” nutrients help our eyes to see, allow our hearts to pump, and keep cancer at bay. Think color, color, color and eat the whole rainbow when choosing fruits and vegetables! Colorful foods provide powerful anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants fight cancer. Read that again: Colorful (natural!) foods provide powerful anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants fight cancer.
Here are a few examples from the food rainbow.
blue (blueberries, plums),
red (red peppers, watermelon, strawberries),
green (spinach, green peppers, lettuce),
yellow (squash, yellow peppers),
orange (oranges, orange peppers, cantaloupe),
purple (eggplant, grapes, figs)
Like a car, you want to fill up your tank with the good stuff. Are you running well or running into a brick wall?