A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps prevents heart disease, cancer, wrinkles, and weight gain. They are the fountain of youth. Your body needs five to nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables. The average person eats only two to three servings per day. Aim for at least five servings per day to start with and gradually increase.
You are 80% healthier just by eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Here are some easy ways to eat more fruits and veggies:
- Add veggies to your morning omelet or scrambled eggs
- Add fruit to your cereal, yogurt, or cottage cheese
- Make a snack mix with pretzels, nuts, and dried fruit
- Keep frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer
- Keep canned fruits and vegetables in your cupboard
- Buy pre-packed applesauce and fruit cups
- Buy vegetable soup and veggie burgers
- Buy pre-cut veggies and dip when you get the munchies
Now, let us talk about metabolism. Your body needs food every three to four hours to run efficiently, which gives you more energy, and helps burn more calories. The idea is to eat five to six times a day, with each mini-meal containing no more than 300 – 400 calories. Going for long time without food makes your body go into starvation mode and may even cause you to gain weight.
Complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and protein, such as nuts, beans, fish, eggs, and meat take about three to four hours for your body to break down or digest. This means these foods keep you feeling full for a long time.
Simple carbohydrates, such as cookies, white flour, cake, sugar, soft drinks, etc are very quickly broken down or digested. They do not keep you feeling full.
A diet high in simple carbohydrates will actually make you feel hungrier than you really are.
Your stomach is about the size of your fist. Your stomach is made of muscle, which means it has the ability to get smaller or bigger. If you overstuff it for a long time period, it will get bigger. It can also shrink back down to normal size if it is fed normal size portions at regular time intervals. Your body sometimes confuses thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water before you eat anything. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and order water when you dine out – it is free!