Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a heart healthy diet because they provide fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. They also are a source of antioxidants, substances that help prevent LDL from sticking to artery walls. We recommend eating seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
1 serving =
Try to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Each color in a fruit or vegetable represents a compound that has disease preventative properties. The more colorful your diet, the healthier you will be. Suggestions to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables:
- Add fruit to cereal for breakfast
- Cut up fruit for a salad
- Use fruit as a naturally sweet dessert
- Grab a piece of fruit instead of a cookie
- Mix dried fruit with nuts for a healthy snack
- Always include a vegetable with your lunch
- Have a stir-fry once a week
- Go back for seconds on vegetables rather than meat
- Ask for a side of vegetables in a restaurant and take home half the main course
- Add vegetables to spaghetti, pizza, casseroles, etc.