Improve cholesterol and overall health by adding more fruits and vegetables.
If you're looking for more ways to get all of your fruit and vegetable servings, here are some easy, healthy ideas to add
more fruit servings and vegetable servings to your diet.
Start Dinner With a Salad
Begin with a base of leafy greens, which supply plenty of folate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy cells. The
darker the greens, the better. Then add some colorful vegetables—tomatoes, carrots, green peppers. The more colors you can
include, the greater the variety of phytochemicals you’ll benefit from.
Add blueberries to everything
cereal, yogurt, whole-wheat pancakes, even grain-based salads. Research shows that people who eat blue and purple fruits and
vegetables, including blueberries but also plums, purple cabbage and purple grapes, have a reduced risk for high blood
pressure and low HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind). Scientists believe that anthocyanins, the compounds that give purple
and blue foods their color, are responsible for these boons.
Go frozen. Don’t let sky-high produce prices keep you from filling up on veggies and fruits in the off season. Make your
selection from the freezer section. Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a
time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.
Eat the Whole Darn Thing
A cup of fruit juice offers vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, but if you’re watching your weight, whole fruits are
a smarter choice. They contain more fiber, which helps you feel full, and fewer calories. For example, one medium orange has
62 calories and 3 grams of fiber, while an eight-ounce glass of OJ has about 120 calories and no fiber.
Transform fruit into an extra-special treat
Strawberries are naturally sweet and juicy—but you can elevate their appeal with chocolate. Melt a couple
of tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave (on Medium power) and then… dip! The strawberries and the
chocolate both provide heart-healthy antioxidants; plus, you’ll get fiber and vitamin C from the fruit. (If you prefer
traditional chocolate-covered strawberries over strawberries dipped in melted chocolate, place the dipped berries on a piece
of wax paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is firm.)