“What should I eat today?” most people ask themselves that question at least three times a day. Usually what many (including us) do then to answer this question is to think about our breakfasts, lunches and dinners from the days before. So for example: “What about making a lasagna for dinner?” – “Nope, had that for 4 days in a row, thanks.” – “Alright, then Pizza it is.”
So what we are doing basically is to remember the names of the plates like “Monday lunch: Hamburger with fries”, “Wednesday dinner: Spaghetti with tomato sauce”. But what we actually should do instead is to remember and compare the main ingredients we used. So “Monday: red meat with a lot of saturated fats”, “Wednesday: refined grain pasta with mashed tomato”. Of course we are exaggerating here but I think you get the point. So instead of talking about lasagna and pizza, which have more or less the same ingredients in different amounts, we should for example think about the amount of different fruits and vegetables we had already throughout the week.
What we have in mind is a mental checklist of products you should consume during the week. Anita and me are thinking about the “Havard Healthy Eating Plate” when we go grocery shopping for example.
To sum up this beautiful piece of nutrional information we took the quote directly from the “Havard Nutriotion Source” because we are not able to put it in better words anyway.
Using Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate as a guide, we recommend eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, healthy fats, and healthy proteins. We suggest drinking water instead of sugary beverages, and we also address common dietary concerns such as salt and sodium, vitamins, and alcohol. It’s also important to stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
So based on this information we want to go a little bit into detail about the categories mentioned above:
- Vegetables & Fruits
- Whole Grain
We would like to split up these topics into five posts on this blog. Now you finally got the answer why there is a “Part 1” mentioned in the title.
We want to take a little deep dive into the great world of vegetables & fruits to start with.
Vegetables & Fruits
So the “Havard Nutriotion Source” provides these two basic but at the same time important facs that you should keep in mind:
- Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity.
- No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat plenty every day.
Well, the fact that vegetables and fruits are part of a healthy diet shouldn’t be groundbreaking news for anyone. The more interesting part is, that there is no single fruit or vegetable to provide us with the needed nutrients for our day. So if you think just because you eat one banana each day that you’re fine, you’re actually not. Anita and me were one of these people who only eat like an apple per day or something. Don’t get us wrong, one piece of fruit is already more than nothing but still, grab as many fruits as possible during the day since they are so easy to consume.
One of the really cool things about a rich diet in vegetables and fruits is that it can lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect on your blood sugar, which can help you keep appetite in check. But the best is yet to come: Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss. Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger. GO VEGGIES!!
So next time you stand in the supermarket (or even better: at your local farmers market) fill up your basket with fruits and veggies. They really are our friends. And keep in mind: the more colorfull your mix is the better aka #eattherainbow. Diversification is not only great in the corporate world!
Three tips to eat more veggies and fruits each day
- Put your fruit where you can see it. So for example place some ready-to-eat washed fruits in a bowl on your desk or store chopped colorful fruits in a glass bowl in the refrigerator.
- Discover new sorts of veggies and fruits and try something different. Variety and color are key to a healthy diet. Try to get at least one serving from each of the following categories per day:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Yellow or orange fruits and vegetables
- Red fruits and vegetables
- Legumes (beans) and peas
- Citrus fruits
- Make it a meal. Cook new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fries are just a few ideas for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals. For some more inspiration check out our delicious breakfast post Frozen Raspberry Smoothie or visit these great pages:
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