A diet rich in fruits and vegetables fuels your body with the essential vitamins and minerals so you can be your best. These foods can improve your health and lower your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Plus, fruits and veggies are energizing, loaded with nutrients, low in calories, and full of water to help you maintain a healthy weight.
It doesn't matter which fruits or vegetables you eat, they're all good for you. So, eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies to reap all their various benefits.
Fruits and vegetables are essential to a nutritious diet. They are colorful, tasty, convenient, affordable, and versatile. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these natural foods pack a powerful punch in terms of helping prevent some chronic diseases, controlling your weight, and boosting your immune system.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables—especially leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower), and citrus fruit—may help reduce your risk of:
Adding fruits or vegetables to your meals adds nutrition, fiber, and bulk to your diet, which can make what you eat lower in calories—while remaining just as filling. Try enhancing your favorite dishes using these healthy substitutions:
A healthy diet plays a significant role in bolstering your immune system. Fruits and vegetables offer a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals such as:
By tossing some low-calorie vegetables into your meals, or finishing them off with fruit, you can create a more delicious and nutritious dish—leaving you feeling more satisfied during and after your meal. Plus, you may reduce your risk of short- and long-term health ailments.
In addition to looking and tasting great, a colorful plate will also maximize your intake of antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress that can damage cells and could accelerate the aging process and possibly lead to various diseases from Alzheimer's to cancer. Look at the "Color Your Plate Challenge" resource to the right for some ideas on adding extra color and antioxidants to your next meal. Each fruit and vegetable has different advantages when it comes to antioxidants.
Nearly everybody should be eating more fruits and vegetables each day. But, just how much do you need to eat and what counts as a serving?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) MyPlate nutritional guide says to you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables each meal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults consume anywhere from 1½ to 2½ cups of fruit and 2 to 4 cups of vegetables daily—depending on your age, sex, and activity level. For example, a 31-50-year-old man who is physically active less than 30 minutes a day should eat 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit.
Eating any of the following amounts of fruit or vegetables is equivalent to one cup (in some cases, other equivalent portions also shown).
Download the Choose MyPlate Focus On Fruit Guide
Download the Choose MyPlate 10 Tips to Add More Vegetables to Your Day
Fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, more flavorsome, and most fresh when they're in season. Below is a season-by-season breakdown of some of the best produce you can have throughout the year. Visit the Fruits and Veggies "More Matters" webpage for the full list.
With all the benefits to eating fruits and vegetables, you'd be missing out if you pass on consuming any of these nutrient-dense superfoods each day. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, more matters, so start focusing on fruits and veggies today!