If you’re like most Baby Boomers and older adults, you’re always sifting through the onslaught of nutrition information to figure which guidelines or diet to follow. And it does get confusing!
I’ve found over the years that I give my clients three main pieces of nutrition advice: drink plenty of water, get adequate protein spread throughout the day, and eat more fruits and vegetables. On that last issue, I usually push for at least 5 servings daily. After all, these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and most important–phytonutrients, those tiny naturally-occurring chemicals that give fruits and veggies their color and odor, and protective antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties. And I’ve never known anybody to overdose on produce!
If I can get my clients to go from one serving to three servings per day, that’s a small success. But I came across information lately that made me re-think my recommendations completely.
When I was researching my book, Building Your Enduring Fitness, I wrote an entire chapter on fruits and vegetables, starting with the following quote from physician and NY Times bestselling author, Michael Greger: “We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it–because they do.”
And how true that is! A study published in 2014 in the International Journal of Epidemiology analyzed the dietary intake of 65,226 adults in the UK. What researchers found is, that while the current recommendations of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is good, more is even better.
Those who ate more than 7 servings per day had a 33% reduced risk of death from any cause during the study period, a 25% reduced risk of death from cancer, and a 31% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
And in 2017, the Imperial College London analyzed 95 studies, looking at fruit and vegetable consumption of 2 million people. Their conclusion: 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented worldwide, along with reductions in heart disease, stroke, and cancer, if we all ate 10 portions daily.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat daily? I challenge you to find ways to meet the minimum recommendation of 5 servings, then work your way up from there.
For additional ideas to consume 7 – 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day, give me a call!
We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for your friends or family.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that—oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.
Lisa Teresi Harris is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and author of the book Building Your Enduring Fitness. A certified Geri-Fit Instructor, she helps Boomers and seniors to regain and keep muscle strength, mobility, and energy.
Contact Lisa to inquire about a customized, in-home fitness program for you or a loved one.