If you're American or even come from other parts of the world, odds are you're not eating enough fruits and vegetables. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 90 percent of Americans are ignoring this guideline.
Yeah, I completely get how a hectic lifestyle can lead to this harsh reality: a lot of the time it's so much easier to have some fast food than go for a healthier dish that involves enough fruits and vegetables to satisfy the dietary guideline. And who has the energy to cook complicated dishes anymore?
So how much is enough? According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should have at least 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Are you doing that? Yeah, it sort of sounds like it's too much or too complicated to deal with, but if you don't have energy... well maybe fruits and vegetables can help with that. Processed foods might even drain you of the little energy you have.
According to the recent data, just 12.2 percent of American adults manage to reach the necessary standard for fruits, and 9.3 percent for vegetables. And that's clearly not enough. It's not much of a difference from, say 2013, when 13.1 percent of people had enough fruit, while 8.9 percent met the vegetable recommendations.
Why eat enough fruits and vegetables?
Maybe you're not meeting the mentioned standards for fruits and vegetables. Maybe you need some extra coaxing. Well, I kind of understand that, since we've been told what to do from childhood on, and sometimes we must understand the reasons to get motivated. So here is why you should be having more green in your meals! The CDC mentions that plant-heavy diets reduce the risk for a lot of serious conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
Of course, things are not that simple, because not all Americans have access to fresh fruits and vegetables - physical or financial. And of course, education on the topic of nutrition is still not up to par.