Compared to other food groups, fruits and vegetables add the most color to your diet! Besides looking pretty, fruits and veggies contain important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients needed for a healthy diet. A diet high in these foods can help protect you against certain chronic diseases and boost your immune system. These foods tend to be lower calorie, low fat, and low in salt.
What’s the difference between fruits and vegetables?
Fruits are the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant, usually containing seeds. Generally, we eat fruits raw and uncooked. According to MyPlate, any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit group. You can also eat fruits canned, frozen, or dried.
Vegetables are plants or part of a plant used as food. Generally, vegetables aren’t sweet nor do they contain seeds (tomatoes are technically a fruit!). You can prepare veggies in a variety of ways, like baking, roasting, drying, steaming, or sautéing. You can also eat vegetables raw in salads. Like fruits, MyPlate counts 100% vegetable juice as a veggie.
How much should you eat?
MyPlate and nutritionists recommend that half of every meal should be made of fruits and veggies. This means an average of 1 ½ cups of fruit a day and 2 ½ cups of veggies a day, depending on your age and level of activity.
Types of fruits and vegetables
There are so many different fruits and vegetables to choose from! Everyone has their favorites. Do you prefer citrus fruits over every day classics like bananas and apples? Or are you more of a berry person? Do you like your leafy dark greens or do you love the color of red and orange vegetables? What sorts of vegetables do you use in your daily cooking? What ingredients are most commonly used in traditional recipes? Take a look at the images below and let us know in the comments!
Information and data provided by MyPlate.gov.