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FRUITS AND VEGETABLES


The real super foods of nutrition are fruits, vegetables and salads. They are packed with biologically active substances called phytochemicals and more over they also provide vitamins and minerals. However leafy green vegetables such as kale, spring greens, spinach, butter squash, red bell peppers, and broccoli are all super foods as they provide an abundance of beta carotene and generous amounts of vitamin C and folic acid.

It has been proven that one should consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. That should be almost 450 grams in total. Also remember that along with carbohydrates rich foods they should also form the largest part of our diet. Therefore there is strong evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables not only protects one against cancer and also to damage to the cells from free radicals and also reduce the risk of heart diseases. The fibre which is present in fruits and vegetables makes the bowl work more efficiently and also the vitamin C present in it helps the body to absorb iron properly.

So while having salads leaves keep in mind that the serving is based on a decent sized handful that takes up at least half your plate but not just by adding a few of them in sandwich  and salad garnishing. A serving of cooked vegetables should be at least to large tablespoons full. Fruit and vegetables have their different nutritional qualities accordingly so this makes it easy to make a choice as much as possible. Try to avoid the canned and frozen one as they are not as nutritious as fresh ones. These canned and frozen foods can be used during emergencies. Most of them don’t consume fruits on daily basis but they should start following it.

# Ways to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables :-

1. Always try to have a bowl of fruit and salad or berries for breakfast.

2. Can add fruits to cereal bowls like on muesli and also can have it with yogurt.

3. Start including fruit juices if you don’t like to have chopped one.

4. One can try mashed banana on toast rather than jams and other spreads.

5. Mid snacking can be done with handful of dried fruits as well.

6. Try to take sticks of crisp raw vegetables or sauté vegetables for lunch with cottage cheese.

7. Fruits like papaya, melons or kiwi can be included for the afternoon snack.

8. Always keep the green peas, sweet corn or broad beans handy so they can be added to soups, sandwich or casseroles or even can be served with fresh green leafy vegetables.

9. Start including paratha stuffed with beans, mushroom, methi, spinach or cauliflower. One can also try the mixed vegetables as well.

10. Try to serve the evening meal with foods rich in root vegetables like potatoes. It can be mixed with other vegetables as well.

11. Include green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, amaranth, watercress, etc at least 3 to 4 times a week.

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