Oftentimes, fruits and vegetables become afterthoughts in our busy day. But, they not only have a place in a sports performance diet, they are excellent catalysts for lowering blood pressure and aiding in fat loss when included in your daily plan.
Below are the top five ways to increase fruits and vegetables daily:
1) Include vegetables like mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and spinach in an egg white omelet for breakfast to start your day.
2) Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast or as a snack between meals. Include brightly colored fruits like mango and kiwi. Blend in greens like spinach or kale which have little flavor on their own but boost nutritional value.
3) Mix in vegetables to your pasta and rice dishes. Try adding sautéed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers to your pasta for extra flavor and nutrients.
4) Add some dried fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, or mix it with nuts for a quick and easy trail mix. Raisins, dried apricots, cranberries and dried bananas are all great options. Look for natural options that do not have added sugar.
5) Fill up at least half your plate with a variety of vegetables at each meal. Aim for at least three colors on your plate. Salads are a great way to add extra color- make sure to include some tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, carrots and even fresh fruit to your mixed greens.
A serving of fruit is the size of one medium fresh fruit or ½ cup cut up fruit. Aim to include 4 servings of fruit per day. A serving of vegetables is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Aim to include 5 servings of vegetables per day.
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