How Many Servings of Fruits & Vegetables Should Be Eaten Daily?

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"Healthy eating" is an ambiguous phrase. You know you need lots of fruits and vegetables for a healthy body, but exactly how much can be a bit of a mystery. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate guidelines offer suggested serving sizes based on age and gender, so you know exactly how much produce you should eat per day.

Quantifying Nutrition

Women ages 19 to 30 need 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. Men in the same age bracket require the same serving of fruit and an additional cup of vegetables. As you age, your nutritional needs change. Women age 31 to 50 need 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables. The recommendations for men stay the same. Over 50, women need 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables, while men need 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables.

Fill Your Plate

The serving sizes are recommended for people who are physically active for fewer than 30 minutes per day. If you are more active, you probably need more fruits and vegetables. A simple guideline the USDA suggests is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. If you don't want to measure your food, use visual cues instead. For instance, 1 cup is the size of a baseball, and 1/2 cup is what you could fit in your cupped hand.

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