Welcome back folks!! Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy New Year!
We hope everyone is recovering well from all the holiday festivities. As we all know, it is New Year Resolution time, and the gyms start to get packed, the dieting goes into overdrive, and in about a month or two life goes back to how it was.
So for this week’s tip, I want to emphasize the small victories towards health, the little things that can be sprinkled throughout your day to make a lasting difference. Start by adding nutritious options, not eliminating foods. I want to use fruit consumption as today’s highlight. Ideally, the concept can be applied for both fruits and vegetables, but we’ll emphasis just one for today.
Research shows that roughly only 25% of Americans meet the recommendations for fruit consumption, which is about 1 ½ to 2 cups a day. (1) Check out this link from the USDA for serving suggestions. So why is fruit consumption important? Fruits not only taste great, but they provide your body with an abundance of beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. And what do these nutrients provide? Adequate intake of these may help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers, by normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving bowel function, and provided satiety (feeling of fullness) with less calories.
The easiest way I find to meet my servings of fruit is to spread it throughout the day. You can easily add a serving to breakfast, by including some blueberries or strawberries on your plate. A banana works well as a mid-morning snack, perfect for those of us on the go. Lunch can have a small orange or apple. If you would rather, you can move that banana to a mid-afternoon snack or try a different fruit. That little sprinkle of fruit, puts you at 3-4 servings! And if eating fruit isn’t your thing, maybe a texture issue, blend them! That is honestly the only way I eat apples. A quick smoothie can meet those recommendations is one sitting!
So sprinkle some additional fruit servings throughout your day and let us know how it goes. And as always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!
- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT
- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT
1. Van Horn L, Carson JA, Appel LJ, et al. Recommended dietary pattern to achieve adherence to the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) guidelines: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2016.