The National Cancer Institute (NCI) encourages Americans to “Take the 5-A-Day Challenge!” and eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day for one week during the month of September. The hope is that this diet will be adopted for life.
Eating fruits and vegetables daily can improve your health and also reduce your risk for diseases like cancer, heart disease, hypertension, macular degeneration and diabetes.
The NCI suggests these easy tips to integrate 5-A-Day into your way of life:
- Have a fruit or juice with your breakfast.
- Have a fruit or vegetable snack daily.
- Make fruit and vegetables visible in your home.
- Microwave vegetables for dinner.
- Make smoothies from frozen berries, ice and yogurt.
- Stir veggies into your pasta, noodles or omelet.
- Stash bags of dried fruit at your desk or in your car for snacking.
- Pile spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers and onions on your pizza.
All varieties of fruits and vegetables – canned, frozen, fresh, dried and 100 percent juice – count toward your 5 a day goal. The NCI suggests that men get 9 servings a day in order to prevent illnesses more commonly associated with the male gender.
Additional information including recipes, suggestions, and background information on the program can be found at http://www.5aday.gov/.