Importance of Fruits and Veggies

Multi-colored fresh fruits and vegetables

Not a vegetable lover? You’re not alone. Only 10% of people in the U.S. eat the recommended amount. What about fruit? Only 12% of the people in the U.S. get enough.

The American Heart Association suggests filling half your plate with fruits and veggies. An easy first step to get 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day is to include them at every meal and snack.

What counts as a serving?


Including 4 servings per day can look like this:

  • One medium fruit = about the size of your fist
  • If you are using a measuring cup:
    • For fresh, frozen or canned fruit = ½ cup
    • Dried fruit = ¼ cup
    • 100% fruit juice* = ¼ cup



Including 5 servings per day can look like this:

  • Raw, leafy vegetable = 1 cup
  • If you are using a measuring cup:
    • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables = ½ cup
    • 100% vegetable juice* = ½ cup

*Fruit and vegetable juices can be part of a healthy diet. One serving of 100% juice can fulfill one of your recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. But watch for calories and added sugars or sodium. Choose 100% juice (or 100% juice and water) instead of sweetened juice or juice drinks.

Adding more fruit and vegetables can provide you with a wide variety of health benefits, including weight management.

Whether you cook at home or eat out, adding more colorful, nutritious and delicious vegetables and fruit into your snacks and meals is important for a healthy eating pattern.

All forms — fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables — count. Remember, the best way to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients is by adding colors from the five main color groups.

Blue and Purple
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Dates
  • Eggplants
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
Red and Pink
  • Beets
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Red Apples
  • Red Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Spinach
Orange and Yellow
  • Squash
  • Cantaloupes
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Pumpkins
  • Yams
  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
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