Most people have heard that they need 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day, yet nearly 75% of us don’t meet that quota. With all of the new, more specific information we’ve received on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, all of the focus on healthy options at grocery stores and restaurants, you’d think that our consumption of plant-based foods would have risen. However, statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that in some areas, it’s actually declined over the last decade. With certain diseases and obesity on the rise during the same time period, you can draw your own conclusions.
Of course there are people who skip their fruits and veggies and feel just fine, so they assume that their body can just go on about its business without them. The question isn’t whether or not they can live a functional, healthy life without them, it’s how long will they be healthy without them? The positive effects of optimal fruit and vegetable consumption aren’t always immediate; the recommended intake is also designed to help prevent illness. Fruits and vegetables are the best source of fiber, folate, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. It’s this fresh, natural nutrition that you can’t afford to ignore.
True, it’s also a rather dull idea that harkens back to being nagged into eating brussels sprouts as a child – “Eat your vegetables so you’ll grow big and strong!” – but there are plenty of ways to meet our daily requirements without feeling like we’re five again.
- Break out of the box and add some color. Don’t rest on starchy stuff, you’re missing out! Yes, you like potatoes, and yes, that is technically a vegetable. Or maybe your idea of fruit includes a bunch of bananas and little else. If so, it’s time to start experimenting.
Just because you don’t like spinach doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like arugula, swiss chard, or collared greens. Just because you’re not especially into strawberries doesn’t mean that all berries are out. Maybe you’re in a rut and your shopping routine has gone stale. Things like dates, kiwis, and avocados are often overlooked when we’re making our regular shopping list, so take your time and really cruise the produce section. Pick the most vibrant fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried (or haven’t tried since childhood) and turn your plate into a rainbow at least once per day – you might discover your new favorite foods.
- Get creative in the kitchen, and plan for success. Poll a bunch of people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and two things you might find they have in common is that one, they prepare food at home more often, and two, they have some pretty ingenious ways of sneaking in extra fruits and vegetables.
A common example is breakfast. You can add a half-cup of berries to your yogurt or oatmeal with little prep or planning and take it out the door with you. Steaming a head of broccoli at the beginning of the week makes it an easy addition to every meal you have coming up. And if you really want to step up your game, learn to hide it. Cauliflower, that cruciferous chameleon, is virtually undetectable when added to macaroni and cheese or pasta dishes. When you cook cauliflower and grate it, you can use it as a replacement for rice, and even make pizza crust out of it.
- Choose some high-quality supplements to keep you on track. When you’re short on time and just don’t have the appetite for it, you’d take anything over having to sit and chew through a bowl of carrots, right? That desire for extra time and convenience is what leads so many people straight to the fast food drive-thru, and eventually, the doctor.
Fortunately, there’s a way around this one. Our Blast Reds, Orange Energy, and Purple Power drink mixes pack all of the necessary vitamins and antioxidant phytonutrients without any slicing, peeling, or chewing. Each formula contains the best of more than a dozen fruits and vegetables, with one scoop of our Blast Reds comprising five servings of fruits and vegetables on its own. One drink, and you’ve met your minimum for the day. It’s also a good solution for those who live in areas where exotic or seasonal fruits and vegetables are hard to come by. No more long trips to specialty stores just to find goji berries; supplement well, and you’ll have more stability and stamina, better sleep, and more time – all while reducing your risk for certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Things change, but the bottom line on fruits and veggies hasn’t. If you’re willing to challenge your thinking about fruits and vegetables, you’ll find that it’s ridiculously easy to make it to nine servings. There’s no better way to lose weight, support your immune system, and live a long life with superhuman vitality. And if you just can’t eat it, drink it!