A plethora of scientific study supports what our ancestors have always known – real food comes from the farm, not a factory. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be overstated when it comes to healthful living and disease prevention. You know it, your patients keep hearing it, but how successful are they in adopting a healthy eating plan?
For many of us in the modernized world, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is no longer commonplace. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is woefully lacking in farm fresh produce. When the government decides that ketchup counts as a vegetable, we are in serious trouble. Making the leap from the SAD way to incorporating more whole fruits and vegetables is no small feat in a world of generations raised on fast food, microwaves, and TV dinners.
Making the leap is worth the effort. Replacing chemical-laden processed foods and meals with real whole food will drastically reduce the toxic load placed on the body while giving it the phytonutrients it so desperately needs in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and water. Fruits and vegetables are also clean sources of carbohydrates, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
7 Tips to Successfully Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Plate
1. Start the day with fruit.
Choose any fruit that you enjoy and make a meal of it. Prepare and slice enough to fill a meal-sized bowl or plate. Cantaloupe (or other melon) makes an excellent choice. Cantaloupe is pre-digested as it contains all the enzymes needed for digestion. Its nutrients are quickly absorbed by the body and it is extremely easy on the digestive tract. While some fruits can be safely combined, melons should always be eaten alone and on an empty stomach (see tip #7 on proper food combining) due to how quickly it passes through the digestive system.
2. Replace a meal each day with a fruit and veggie smoothie.
A blended whole food smoothie is a convenient and tasty way to increase your overall intake of fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are loaded with fiber and phytonutrients so vital to good health. They are cholesterol free and contain virtually no fat. The hydration provided by fresh fruits and vegetables is far superior to drinking plain water. There’s really no reason not to enjoy a smoothie any time of the day!
3. Lighten up at lunch.
Soup and salad is a favorite combination found in many cultures. A salad, done the healthy way, is a delicious way to incorporate the raw foods so often missing in our diets. A vegetable-based soup is a low-fat and satisfying dish packed with necessary phytonutrients and healing herbs and spices.
4. Combat the mid-afternoon slump with a whole food snack.
Our blood sugar naturally dips in the mid-afternoon, a time when many are reaching for caffeine or sugar for a pick-me-up. This is an excellent time to choose the natural energy of fruit and vegetables and avoid the inevitable crash that follows the latte or candy bar. Apple slices, grapes, and veggie sticks are easily transported and eaten on-the-go.
5. Try a plant-based dinner at least once per week.
Committing to this practice even once a week helps many people not just eat more vegetables but also become comfortable with preparing plant-based meals. With just a few attempts, planning and cooking a meatless dinner becomes second nature.
6. Add a raw component to every dinner.
A cooked meal elicits an immune response indicating that raw foods are best. If just half of the meal is raw, this immune response is mitigated. Before starting the main course, enjoy a fresh salad or fruit appetizer. The fiber will begin to fill the stomach with low calorie foods leaving less room for the more caloric foods to follow.
7. Practice proper food combining.
When adopting a whole foods diet, some people experience digestive symptoms as their body adapts to the new foods and heals from the damage done by refined foods. A quality probiotic supplement coupled with digestive enzymes may ease this transition and promote healthy function in the gut. * In addition, proper food combining is instrumental in preventing symptoms such as gas and bloating. Fruit should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach without the presence of fat-containing foods. If eaten with a larger meal, fruit should be eaten first. If there is a history of gastrointestinal issues, ease into raw foods that are high in insoluble fiber (celery, uncooked greens, broccoli/cauliflower) and choose softer foods high in soluble fiber (fruit and non-sweet fruits such as cucumbers and tomatoes).
3-4 ripe bananas
1-2 cups fruit, any combination you like, fresh or frozen
1-2 cups vegetables, such as baby spinach or kale
Fill blender with water and ice, if desired. Start with 2 cups; adjust according to desired thickness.
Add veggies and blend. Add fruit and blend until smooth and creamy.
Be sure the bananas are ripe – look for little brown freckles. You can freeze your bananas once they are ripe. If you use frozen bananas and/or frozen fruit, omit the ice and add more water as needed. Frozen fruit is a great time saver. Always choose organic for the greens.
We hope you’ll share these tips with your patients. We value our healthcare practitioner partners and strive to support their patients’ success through education and superior supplementation formulated to address root causality and restore health and balance.
Healthcare Practitioners are eligible to receive a complimentary consultation for their practice. During this 15-minute phone conversation, we will evaluate your current patient struggles and identify solutions for improving overall health that also target specific conditions such as pain, inflammation, fibrosis, digestive disorders, and weakened immunity.
Call 800.548.2710 today or fill out the contact form and we will be happy to assist you.