Fruits and Vegetables:
Do You Get Enough?
The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day to help lower cancer risk. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and are usually low in calories. In general, those with the most color – dark green, red, yellow, and orange – have the most nutrients. Try to work in a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
Eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day may not be that hard to do when you add these up during your day:
- At each meal, fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- Have a piece of fruit or crunchy vegetable as a snack
- Enjoy ½ cup (4 ounces) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice once or twice a day. Mix with club soda or unsweetened seltzer water if you like fizz
- Layer lettuce, tomatoes, beans, onions, and other vegetables on sandwiches and wraps
- Add tomato sauce and extra vegetables to pastas and vegetable soups
- Check out the vegetarian sandwiches when you visit restaurants for lunch
- Try new vegetables from the produce aisle, frozen foods section, or farmer’s market
Trying to visualize ½ cup? A half cup of vegetables or fruit is about half the size of a baseball. The best way to know for sure is to use a measuring cup and put in ½ cup cooked vegetables. Empty it on your plate and take a mental picture (or a real one).
Snack your way to 2½ cups a day
Try the snack suggestions below to help reach your daily fruit and vegetable goal.
- Keep dried fruits and vegetable juice boxes in your desk drawer and glove compartment.
- Keep a bowl full of fresh veggies and fruits on your kitchen counter.
- Short on time? Look for pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables, such as baby carrots and broccoli florets, at the grocery store.
- Limit French fries, snack chips, and other fried vegetable products as nibbles, as well as at meals.
Last Revised: 01/12/2012