Get 5 to 9 Fruit and Vegetable Servings Every Day

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Here’s why: By now, you have probably heard that the new USDA recommendation for optimal health is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables of all colors. Countless studies show that the fiber helps keep weight down and also that the different pigments in the skins of produce are powerful antioxidants that help the immune system function properly and prevent life-shortening diseases. The countries with the highest amount of centenarians eat very large portions of vegetables and consume almost none of our modern packaged foods. These centenarians live to a ripe old age in basically good health, suffering from very little heart and liver disease and showing very slight rates of cancer and degenerative diseases. Research supports this: compared with people who eat very small amounts of produce, those who eat larger amounts as part of a healthful diet are more likely to have reduced risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and many chronic conditions.

A few tips: Eat foods of all colors–red, yellow, green, white, Continue reading