Eating 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day can help you live longer, says a major study. When I shared the good news, some of you asked "How can I eat 10 servings a day?" "How can I afford to eat that much fruit and vegetables?" This typical Cook for Good menu costs only $8.57 per person for three meals plus a snack using organic ingredients. You can make all but the salad ahead on Sunday to fuel your Meatless Monday. You'll have plenty extra to fuel the rest of the week too.
How big is a serving of vegetables or fruit?
The Imperial College of London's study defined a serving as 80 grams of fruit or vegetables. That's just under 3 ounces. All 10 servings would weigh 800 grams or 28 ounces. According to the USDA, a 6-inch banana would be one serving and a 9-inch one would be two servings. Beans do double duty, with each serving counting as a vegetable and as a protein.
Menu for 10 Servings of Fruit or Vegetables
Breakfast (1.5 servings)
- 1 slice toasted Good Whisk Bread or Good Bread-Machine Bread, Whisk Style
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- medium banana
Lunch (4 servings)
- Cuban Black Beans on a baked sweet potato (with optional Cashew Cream)
- Spring Salad with vinaigrette dressing (see Wildly Affordable Organic)
Snack (1 serving)
- broccoli florets
Dinner (4 servings)
- One-Bowl Tomato Sauce with Kale, Raisins, and Walnuts tossed with whole-wheat pasta and topped with nutritional yeast
- Chocolate Sweet-Potato Snack Cake
Nutritional Analysis for the Whole Day
Calories: 1757. Calories from protein: 11%
Protein 52 grams (103% daily value), total fat: 56 grams (86%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 280 grams (93%), dietary fiber 42 grams (169%)
Calcium 412 mg (41%), iron 17 mg (97%), potassium 4095 (117%), zinc 9 mg (61%), Vitamin C 230 mg (384%), Vitamin A 53490 IU (1070%), Vitamin B6 2.4 mg (118%), Thiamin B1 1.6 (110%), Riboflavin B2 1.2 mg (68%), Folacin 538 mcg (134%)
Comments on the Nutritional Analysis
The calcium is low at 412 mg, but within the World Health Organization's recommendation of 400 to 500 mg for adults. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1000 to 1,200 mg for adults, though, which is why I take a calcium supplement. Learn more about calcium requirements and sources.
People on an all-plant diet should take a vitamin B12 supplements. Or eat dirt or bugs, which is how other primates get B12.
I'll write a post on basic nutrition soon.