Aim for Five

Live Well Principle #3: Aim for Five

  • aim-for-five.jpgAim for at least 5 or more cups of fruits & veggies/day:   Fruits and vegetables are the number one source of anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants and fiber, which has shown in research to be helpful in the prevention of certain disease states.

  • Aim for 5 different colors per week or per day:

    • A colorful diet ensures that you are getting a balance and variety of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
    • Red Fruits and Vegetables (such as beets, radishes, raspberries, tomatoes ) contain nutrients such as lycopene, quercetin, ellagic acid, which are nutrients that have been shown to reduce tumor growth, the risk of prostate cancer, LDL or the “bad” cholesterol levels,  and lower blood pressure.
    • Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables (such as apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes) contain nutrients such as beta-carotene, flavonoids, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and potassium, which may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, age-related macular degeneration, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, promote healthy joints and work with calcium and magnesium to build healthy bones.
    • Green Fruits and Vegetables: (such as asparagus, spinach, green grapes) contain nutrients such as chlorophyll, calcium, folate, fiber, lutein, vitamin C, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which may help to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, reduce the risk for certain types of cancer, boost the immune system, support vision health and digestion.
    • Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables: (such as blueberries, prunes, eggplant) contain nutrients such as vitamin C, lutein, quercetin, zeaxanthin, fiber, resveratrol, flavonoids, and ellagic acid, which may help to lower LDL cholesterol levels, boost immune function, support healthy digestion and vision health, reduce tumor growth, fight inflammation, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, and limit the activity of cancer cells.
    • White Fruits and Vegetables: (such as garlic, onions, brown pears, white nectarines) contain nutrients such EGCG, beta-glucans, lignans, and SDG, which may help to enhance immune functioning, reduce the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer, hormone-related cancers and balance hormone levels.
  • Find them in 5 different forms:

    • Fresh: all fresh produce is a great choice, however when selecting produce make sure you are choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season, ripe, and the best in flavor.

    • Frozen: requires very little preparation, make sure to choose fruits and vegetables in their own “natural” state (meaning no added butter or sauces or sugars).

    • Canned: canned fruits and vegetables are a great thing to have on hand for a quick meal or snack and for meal preparation.  Choose low-sodium canned vegetables and canned fruit that are packed in water or 100% juice.

    • Dried: dried fruit is great to keep on hand for adding to cereals, salads, trail mix, yogurt, etc.  Keep in mind that ½ cup is considered a serving size and watch for added sugars like honey, sugar, corn syrup.  Only the fruit itself should be on the ingredients list.

    •  100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice: Stick to an 8oz serving size or less of 100% fruit juice.  While it is better to eat whole fruits and vegetables because of the fiber, 100% fruit and or vegetable juice can also be a healthy option.  Just remember to limit yourself to an 8oz portion.

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Live Well Principle #1: It Starts with Your Cart

Live Well Principle #2: Get Back to the Table

Live Well Principle #3: Aim for Five

Live Well Principle #4: Take Steps in the Right Direction