NUTRITION PLAN The meal plan to get 9 servings of fruits and...

NUTRITION PLAN The meal plan to get 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day

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CLIMBING KILIMANJARO SEEMS like it’d be an easier feat than getting the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables in every day. It’s daunting—especially if you’re trying to jam ’em all in one or two meals. And you’ve probably got questions—like: Do fruits and vegetables really deliver that much of a health boom? Does getting more in your diet really make that much more of a difference? And what do nine servings of fruits and vegetables look like spaced out in every meal?

Well, to start from the beginning, yes—fruits and vegetables really are supremely important for your health. Research shows a direct correlation with higher intakes of fruits and vegetables and better fitness and ability to ward off disease. The unique blend of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other nutrients specific to each fruit and vegetable can help protect your body from disease (in addition to making your brain sharper, heart stronger, and skin healthier). The fiber from the fruits and vegetables can help lower cholesterol and keep you full longer, to boot.

The USDA guidelines aren’t random, either. Brand-new research from the University of Warwick found that 7.8 million deaths around the globe could be prevented each year if people ate more fruits and vegetables; and the more you eat, the lower your overall risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and premature death. The sweet spot? Eight servings, though we suggest you shoot for nine.