The USDA recommends the average American adult eat 3-5 servings of vegetables every day. Each serving size represents one half cup of vegetables. Fruit serving sizes equal the same amount but are only recommended for 2-4 servings per day. But what makes the USDA recommend fruits and vegetables in your diet? What happens if you don’t follow these guidelines?
There are several ways that low nutritional intake can affect your short and long term health. People who consume less than the recommended 5 daily servings of vegetables are more likely to become obese, have digestive issues, and heart disease. Obesity is directly linked to malnutrition as those who do not consume vegetables get their calories from higher fat lower nutritional foods. Those high calorie and high fat foods are harder for the body to digest and eliminate making the individual overweight. Digestive issues develop from low fiber foods. If a person isn’t regularly eating vegetables like broccoli and spinach, and fruits like apples and oranges fiber will be virtually nonexistent in their bodies. This can cause hemorrhoids, constipation, and stomach aches. Heart disease can be the biggest side effect of a diet low in fruits and vegetables. A study published in 2010 found that a low intake of vegetables during childhood directly related to adult arterial disease which is the first step to heart disease. Of course, poor diets are the number one factor in heart disease and are constantly blamed for the deaths of thousands of people every year.
The good news is that all these health problems can be avoided if a person simply eats their fruits and veggies! Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals all of which are necessary for the repair and upkeep of the human body. If you want to be healthy and lead an active lifestyle you have to incorporate the recommended daily dose of vegetables and fruits into your diet. When you regularly consume the vital nutrients you body craves you will see marked improvements throughout your body. Your skin will be clearer, your muscles will be stronger, you will have more energy and your mind will be focused. If you give the body what it truly needs it will perform at its optimum level, feed it junk and it will feel like junk. Remember you are what you eat, so why not eat the best there is and keep up with the recommendations for fruits and vegetables.