“What Does 5-9 Servings of Fruits & Veggies Really Mean?”

Okay, so you’re convinced you need to eat more vegetables after reading yesterday’s post, “ 5 reasons to eat more veggies.”  How on Earth should you include 5-9 servings into your diet?  It does not mean to eat, “5-9 servings of fruits and zero vegetables,” nor does it mean, “5-9 servings of fruits and another 5-9 servings of veggies.”  The USDA defines 5-9 servings per day as: a minimum of 3-5 servings of vegetables (a serving = 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked) and a minimum of 2-4 servings of fruit (a serving = 1 cup raw or one whole piece).  Many experts and researchers have increased the total recommendation to 9-13 servings per day.  How you can meet 9 servings today: enjoy 2 servings of fruit with breakfast, 3 servings of veggies with lunch, 1 whole fruit as a snack, 1 cup raw veggies as a snack, and 2 servings of veggies with dinner.  That is what 9 servings of fruits and veggies looks like.  To see how this looks in a “meals format,” I’ve provided a sample plan below.

Sample day with 9 servings of fruits and vegetables:

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Snack

Fruits & Veggies

1 Cup berries

1 apple

2 Cups Spinach ; 1 cup raw mixed veggies

1 cup raw broccoli

1 cup cooked spinach (this equals 2 servings)

1 cup strawberries

Protein

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 Babybel cheese

1 serving grilled chicken or beans

1 serving salmon

Fat

1 tbsp flaxseed

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (cheese and avocado serve as a fat)

Ranch dip

1 serving dill sauce on top of salmon

Carbs

Sprinkle of granola

1 whole wheat roll

½ cup wild rice

Dipped in chocolate

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