Fresh fruit composition on a white background, healthy eating concept

Are you eating enough fruit? Probably not. Only 12 percent of adults eat the minimum amount of fruit, according to a recent study.1

So how much fruit should you be eating?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day.

Take a look at what you typically eat in a day to find out if you’re getting enough fruit in your diet.

If fruit is already a regular part of your diet, keep up the good work. If you’re short on fruit, add your favorite fruits to meals and snacks.

Snack on these fruity health benefits

Fruits are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Most fruits are also naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium and are cholesterol-free. They’re also a good source of water and fiber (unlike most junk foods).

Hungry for better health?

Check out these 5 sweet and healthy reasons to eat more fruit:

1. Live longer

If you want to live a long and healthy life, eat more fruits and vegetables. In a recent study by the American Heart Association, researchers found that eating at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day may help you live longer.2

Eating this way also lowered the risk for heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and lung-related diseases.

2. Control blood pressure

Did you know about 50 percent of all adults have high blood pressure? It’s a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.

Research shows eating fruits like apples and berries can help control blood pressure.3

3. Improve cholesterol

How’s your cholesterol level? Without a blood test, you probably don’t know. But when LDL (bad) cholesterol is high, it’s a risk factor for blocked arteries and other health problems.

The good news…research shows eating fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and other citrus fruits can help control cholesterol.4

4. Lower heart disease risk

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. About 659,000 people a year die from heart disease in the U.S. But it’s largely preventable.

Research shows, meeting the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk for heart disease by about 28 percent.5

5. Aid in weight management

About 74 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are the prime reasons for this problem.

Eating more fruit can help support weight loss and prevent weight gain.6

Just don’t overdo it. Some dried fruits contain as many calories as a candy bar (250 calories), and one banana contains about 100 calories.

How to boost your daily dose of fruits and vegetables

If you’re in the habit of eating 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day, keep it up. If you’re not, here are some ways to boost your daily dose of fruit:

Breakfast

    • Top off a bowl of whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with peaches or berries.
    • Make a fruit smoothie with low-fat yogurt, and frozen strawberries and blueberries.
    • Instead of skipping breakfast, grab an apple or banana before you head out the door.

Lunch

    • If you go out for lunch, make a trip through the salad bar for fresh fruit like pineapple, watermelon, or pears.
      Pack your own lunch and include an orange, grapes, or apple slices.

Dinner

    • Make a salad with orange slices, dried cranberries, or grapes.
    • Try a Waldorf salad recipe with apples, celery, walnuts, and a low-calorie dressing.
    • Add crushed pineapple to coleslaw.

Snacks

    • Buy fresh fruit at a grocery store or local farmer’s market.
    • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
    • Try peanut butter on apple slices or a serving of applesauce.

Sources

1. Lee, S.H., et al. (2022). Adults meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 71(1): 1-9. From: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7101a1.htm

2. Wang, D., et al. (2021). Fruit and vegetable intake and mortality. Circulation, 143:17. From: From: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.048996

3. Ottaviani, J., et al. (2020). Biomarker-estimated flavan-3-ol intake is associated with lower blood pressure in cross-sectional analysis in EPIC Norfolk. Scientific Reports, 10:19764. From: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-74863-7

4. Aune, D., et al. (2017). Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality—a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46(3): 1029-1056. From: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/46/3/1029/3039477

5. Harvard University. (2017). Fruits and vegetables for heart health: More is better. Harvard Health Publishing. From:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/fruits-and-vegetables-for-heart-health-more-is-better

6. Dreher, M., et al. (2020). A comprehensive critical assessment of increased fruit and vegetable intake on weight loss in women. Nutrients, 12(7): 1919. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399879/

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