Easy Ways to Eat More Fruit
Food Fitness. Nourish your body.
Eating your fruits and vegetables is a lot easier than you might think. One cup-equivalent of most fruits and vegetables is the amount that would fit in a measuring cup if chopped, or about 2 handfuls. The exceptions are raw leafy greens (2 cups count as 1 cup) or dried fruit (1/2 cup counts as 1 cup).
Put slices of banana or peaches on cold cereal.
Add dry fruit (such as, raisins, apricots, or apples) when cooking hot cereal.
Keep a plastic container full of cut up fruit -- have some at breakfast or for a snack topped with plain or fruited non-fat, sugar-free yogurt (to get a bit more calcium).
Take one or two pieces of fruit from home each day to eat with lunch and as an afternoon snack or on your way home to knock the edge off your ravenous appetite.
Keep dried fruit, raisins, figs, apricots, peaches, pears, etc., around -- use it for a snack, try it as fuel for long hikes or bike rides, or stash in your desk or locker. But do not empty the bag -- the calories and carbohydrate in dried fruit add up quickly because they are concentrated.
Toss a few raisins, pieces of apple, dried apricot, or pineapple chunks on a salad. This can make a great mid-afternoon snack, or mid-evening snack, too!
Have canned or jarred fruit in the pantry -- applesauce, peaches, pears and pineapple for starters.
Toss fruit into entrees -- pineapple in stir-fry or on make-your-own-pizza; fresh or dried cranberries or peaches in chicken, or apricots or apples in pork dishes.
Combine fruit with vegetables -- crushed pineapple in coleslaw, raisins in carrot salad, make a Waldorf salad with apples, raisins, walnut and celery.
Serve fruit with the main course -- applesauce with pork chops or roast, pineapple with ham, low-sugar cranberry sauce with chicken.
Grill fruit on skewers and serve as dessert with a few ginger snaps or vanilla wafers or serve as part of the main course.
Does Fruit Give You Indigestion? Read this!
Eating fruit on an empty stomach benefits you with cleansing properties and helps you avoid digestive discomfort.
If you believe you cannot tolerate fruit because it gives you indigestion, you may be eating it at the wrong time. Fruit is rapidly digested and does not need to be digested in the stomach like other foods. If you eat fruit after eating other foods, all the food, including the fruit, will sit together and begin to ferment. This will cause digestive troubles. However, if you eat fruit on an empty stomach, you will likely be able to tolerate it without any discomfort.
Fruits are optimum detoxifiers when eaten on an empty stomach. Fruit starts to be digested in the mouth so it is critical that you chew it well. This allows it to mingle with digestive juices secreted in the mouth. Then it travels through the digestive tract. Typically within half an hour, fruit leaves the stomach and enters the intestines, where it offers its natural sugars, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals for cleansing and healing. Many people complain that fruit gives them gas or indigestion. The primary reasons are inadequate chewing to break and eating fruit after other foods that take significantly longer to digest. Eating fruit with or after other types of foods causes everything to sit in the stomach and begin to putrefy. This putrefaction causes gas, bloating, and indigestion.
The following examples count as 1 cup:
- 1 small apple
- 1 large banana
- 2 medium cantaloupe wedges
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 1 large orange
- 1 large peach
- 1 medium pear
- 2 large or 3 small plums
- 8 large strawberries
- 1 small watermelon wedge
- 2 small boxes of raisins or other dried fruit
- 3 spears of broccoli
- 1 cup of cooked greens or 2 cups raw
- 2 medium carrots or 12 baby carrots
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large ear of corn
- 1 medium potato
- 2 large stalks of celery
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 can of beans
Example: A 35 year-old fairly active woman would need 4-1/2 cups per day. The chart below shows what 4-1/2 cups might look like.
Fruits and vegetables are only one component of a healthy diet. In addition to fruits and vegetables, a healthy diet also includes whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, lean meats, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. It is also low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
Get Your Fruit Fast.
Fruits come in a variety of convenient options that need little or no preparation.
- Select easy-to-eat fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, plums, peaches and grapes.
- Pick up pre-cut packages of melon, pineapple or fruit salad.
- Buy bags of frozen blueberries, strawberries, peaches and mangos to use in smoothies, muffins and desserts.
- For on-the-go options, stock up on dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries and apricots, unsweetened applesauce cups, single-serve fruits canned in water or 100 percent fruit juice.
- Buy single-serve containers of 100 percent fruit juice for lunches.
- Try frozen 100% fruit juice bars for a refreshing dessert.