Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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7 A Day Keeps Death Away

fruitsveggiesSeven fruits and vegetables a day. That’s what it takes to reduce death by a whopping 42 percent, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

After following a representative sampling of 65,000 people for seven years, researchers found that those who ate more fruits and veggies were less likely to die for any reason—particularly heart disease (31 percent), stroke and cancer (25 percent).

Even if you don’t eat the full seven servings, eating some fruits and veggies still puts you on the path to better health, and the more you eat, the more you’ll benefit.

But how to munch seven servings without feeling like kale is sprouting from your ears?

Keep reading for tips plus a sample day’s meal plan to get you started.

 
Breakfast = 2 servings
Chocolate banana pudding sprinkled with unsweetened coconut tips, almond slices and ½ C strawberries
 
Snack = 1 serving
Cherry tomatoes and baby carrots (1/2 C total)
Ranch dressing (for dipping)
Corn chips
 
Lunch = 2.5 servings
Cup of soup
Salad made with 2 cups of greens and ½ cup of other fruits or veggies (check out our post on Life-changing Lunchable Mason Jar Salads)
Crackers
 
Snack = 1 serving
Sliced apple and peanut butter
Or 1/2 C kale chips
 
Dinner = 1 – 2 servings
Entree and sides of choice
½ - 1 C steamed or roasted green beans
 
Dessert = 1 serving
½ C Blueberries  (plain or drizzled with coconut milk and sprinkled with cinnamon or tumbled over ice cream
 
Voila! That’s more than eight servings!

1 serving = 80 grams, just under 3 ounces or ½ cup for most fruits and veggies. For lettuce or other fluffy salad-type greens, 1 serving = 1 cup.
 
The Guardian has even more suggestions for boosting your veggie intake, including tips on adding caramelized onions and pureed carrots to your meals.
 
Please note that canned fruits in sugar syrups are actually detrimental to your health because of the added sugar. Also, vegetables have a larger health benefit than fruits.
 
How do you include fruits and vegetables in your day? Share your tips and recipes by commenting below or emailing professorwellbody@pacsci.org

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Guest Wednesday, 22 October 2014