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Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables? Chances are, you don’t.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report with some sobering facts about Americans’ consumption of fruits and vegetables. You guessed it. We aren’t eating enough of them. Not by a long shot.

USDA recommendations suggest that we eat 1.5 - 2 cups of fruit each day and 2 - 3 cups of vegetables. (The exact amounts vary according to age and gender.) Using data from a 2013 survey of 337,000 adults, the CDC report found that 87 percent of Americans came up short on fruit intake and 91 percent did not make their vegetable quota.[1] In other words, only about one in ten Americans eats enough fruits and veggies!

There was variation from state to state, but all states fell well short of the USDA goals. Sadly, the Juice Plus+ Company’s home state of Tennessee falls to the bottom of the basket.

What can we do about it?

Good eating habits begin in childhood. And too many kids are not acquiring these habits. From 2007 to 2010, 60 percent of children did not eat the recommended amount of fruit and a stunning 93 percent didn’t eat enough vegetables. The researchers concluded a good first step could be focusing on improving the nutritional quality of food served in schools and day care centers, making sure it meets or exceeds guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption and that it’s prepared in a palatable way, so kids will actually eat it.

Raising kids’ awareness about the importance of fruits and vegetables also helps. That could explain the results of the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study, which found that after only one year on Juice Plus+, 61 percent of parents reported that their children and teenagers were eating more fruits and vegetables.

In an interesting side note, NPR recently reported on its food blog, The Salt, that with the exception of potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce, the U.S. does not produce enough vegetables for everyone to eat the recommended amount.[2] So even if we all woke up tomorrow with the best intentions to eat an optimal diet, there wouldn’t be enough dark leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables to go around. Now surely if demand increased, supply would follow, but I think the fact that farmers aren’t even growing enough vegetables needed to maintain the health of Americans shows that something needs to change.

Even someone like me, who makes a concerted effort to eat well, can use these kinds of wake-up calls. But I don’t bring a measuring cup to the table at every meal. I find it easier to ensure I’m eating enough fruits and vegetables by eyeing my plate and making sure it’s always half full of them. It’s that simple.

And on the days when I fall short, I know there’s Juice Plus+. While there’s no substitute for eating your share of fruits and vegetables, Juice Plus+ helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat, by harnessing the power of 20 fruits, vegetables, and grains in the Orchard and Garden Blend capsules. That number jumps up to 30 with the addition of Vineyard Blend capsules. By taking Juice Plus+ every day, you can rest easy knowing that even on your worst eating days, you’re stilling getting important whole food based nutrition.

References:

[1] Adults meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations --  United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. July 10, 2015/ 64(26);709-713. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6426a1.htm?s_cid=mm6426a1_w

 

[2] The U.S. doesn’t have enough of the vegetables we’re supposed to eat. NPR’s The Salt. Sept. 19, 2015. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/19/441494432/the-u-s-doesnt-have-enough-of-the-vegetables-were-supposed-to-eat?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150919

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