The US Department of Agriculture recommends a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit. I believe that is not enough! To decrease your risk of cancer, many studies have shown that the minimum servings should be at least 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruit. So how much is a serving?
Here are some examples of 1 serving of vegetables:
Spinach, romaine and dark, leafy lettuce = 2 cups raw
Carrot = 1 medium, raw, or about 6 baby carrots
Tomato = 1 about 2 ¼-inch diameter, raw
Garbanzo, black or soy beans = 1 cup cooked, whole or mashed
Celery = 1 stalk about 12 inches long, raw
Cucumbers = 1 cup raw, sliced
Mushrooms = 1 cup raw or cooked
Zucchini = 1 cup cooked
Here are some examples of one fruit serving:
Banana = 1 less than 6 inches long
Cantaloupe = 1 medium wedge
Grapes = 16 seedless
Grapefruit = half of a 4-inch- diameter fruit
Peach = 1, 2-inch diameter
Strawberries = ½ cup, sliced
Raisins = ½ cup
100 percent fruit juice = 1 cup
Here are some tips of getting more vegetables and fruit:
Fill half your plate with vegetables at each meal. That could be 2-3 servings in one meal!
Add vegetables like spinach, celery, beets, and avocados to your morning smoothie.
Hide secret vegetables to your pasta like zoodles (zucchini noodles), spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, and beets. Or completely substitute the pasta for this vegetable noodles!
Buy vegetables and fruit in season - they will have more flavor!
Prepare ahead of time. Cut up fruits and vegetables for easy snacks when you're on the go and having cravings. You could even "snack" on these while preparing dinner and your feeling ravenous.