Our bodies are designed to derive our nutrition from fresh foods. It's as simple as that. There is much more to the food experience though, and exploring our relationship to the foods we eat is illuminating. Fortunately, you can easily shift your relationship with food. With just a few simple additions here and there, you can zing with the energy and well-being that comes from adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your daily routine.
Federal nutritional guidelines suggest you eat at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day to stay healthy and prevent cancer and other diseases. That's great advice. You'll give yourself a huge boost in vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes and other nutrients you need to thrive. And don't forget, raw nuts and whole grains like brown rice are also vitamin-packed fresh foods.
So if you're eating fresh fruit and vegetables at least five times a day, fantastic. You might try even more. Some research shows that ten servings of fresh veggies and fruit a day can directly lower your blood pressure and greatly impact your ability to fight disease.
Your body was born to run on fresh fuel. Live, whole foods that are exactly as we find them in nature. These living goods give you so much more than basic nourishment. When you chew and consume a piece of raw broccoli, your digestive system extracts dozens of different components and distributes them throughout your body. It's an ingeniously designed, life-giving process that's only possible with fresh food.
There's also much more to fresh food than wholesome vitamins and minerals. For starters, eating fresh veggies gives you:
Just like with water, if you're not used to eating fresh food every day, it's important to adopt some failure-proof tricks that will help make it easier for you.
Start small and snack. Carve out little spaces in your day where fresh foods can fit in nicely. For your morning snack, try a bag of bright-orange baby carrots. Apples are perfect, too. Start taking bananas, raisins, raw nuts or other simple foods to work. Then snack two or three times a day.
Work fresh food into meals. Perk up your regular dishes with a serving of fresh fruits or vegetables. It's not hard to prepare fresh broccoli to complement your chicken and brown rice. Or when you scramble eggs in the morning, grate in a carrot while they're cooking. Voila! You've just added a serving of vegetables to your day.
Add fruit to dessert or breakfast. As you scoop up a bowl of ice cream at night or dig into cereal in the morning, add blueberries. They're rich in antioxidants and have been shown to prevent blindness. Try strawberries, bananas or other berries for variety.
Shop not just for what you want to eat but how you want to eat. Buy healthy foods and snacks that are easy to grab on the go.
Put fresh food where you can see it. One of the most effective ways to eat fresh is to put the food where you can snatch it. Place a lovely dish of apples on the coffee table, or tuck a bag of raw nuts in your car. If you can see them, you're more likely to choose the good stuff when you've got the munchies.
Prepare and store salads. If you don't have time to chop, dice and toss, simply prepare a large bowl of mixed greens, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, dried cranberries, whatever you like. Then store it in plastic bags or containers. That way, eating a tasty salad is as simple as open, pour and dress.