wikiHow to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Three Methods:What Form to PurchaseWays to Save MoneyCooking and Preparing

Fruits and vegetables contain many essential nutrients for health. They also have few calories, plenty of fiber, and plant sterols that have been proven effective against heart disease. The National Institute of Health has published studies on why fruit and vegetable consumption is low, with cost ranking highest among reasons. Additionally, many people are unsure of how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their busy lifestyle. There are ways to eat more fruits and vegetables daily starting with knowing how to shop to finding to creative ways to incorporate into each meal.

Method 1
What Form to Purchase

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    Think ahead to eating more fruits and vegetables and less junk food, and buy your foods accordingly. Purchase fresh when it fits your budget and timing. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be more expensive, but are worth the money in nutrition and flavor. Usually they can be eaten raw or cooked. Sometimes there is not a substitute for fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be consumed in the week you purchase them to avoid rot or lessening nutritional value. Antioxidant content begins to degrade immediately after harvest as do some vitamins, so the closer to harvest you eat them the more nutrition you will obtain.
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    Purchase frozen fruits and vegetables for convenience or when fresh are not in season. Frozen vegetables are frozen quickly after harvest and maintain many nutrients. They are easy to cook and can be stored for long periods of time. They are also very affordable and readily available. Frozen fruit is also a good option. It can be defrosted overnight and eaten without cooking, but the texture will have changed because of the freezing process. It is best to use frozen fruit for desserts or to cook with.
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    Purchase canned to stock your pantry and for cooking. Canned vegetables are great for making soups and casseroles. They are also convenient. Canned vegetables may have lost some nutrients during the high heat cooking process, but they still contain a fair amount. Having canned fruits and vegetables on hand helps with having a fruit or vegetable at every meal. When purchasing canned fruit be sure to read the label. Many canned fruits are packed in syrup, which adds extra sugar and calories. Try purchasing canned fruit in juice or water instead. Canned fruit is great for all ages because it is typically softer and comes pre-portioned.
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    Purchase purees and juices for cooking or eating “on the go.” Purees are useful for making smoothies and adding sauces. Juice has nutrients, but lacks the fiber. It is good for getting a fruit in when you don’t have time or you are not somewhere fruit is readily available. The high sugar and calorie content of juice makes it a tricky choice. The best way to consume is in moderation. Also, remember to only purchase 100% fruit juice.

Method 2
Ways to Save Money

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    Shop at your local farmers market or farm. Farmers markets have local produce at a decent price. This means you get it fresher and cheaper than at the grocery store. Also, many times there are surpluses of certain crops and these can be purchased way under retail cost. If you go towards the end of the day, many vendors drop the prices to deplete their inventory for the day. Before going to the market, do some research on what the shelf life is of certain fruits and vegetables and if they will freeze well. This way you can purchase the right amount. A local farm is another option because they usually sell at a reasonable rate since they are cutting back transportation and storage costs.
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    Buy in season produce. Produce that is in season costs less because it did not have to be shipped from a place that it will grow year-round. If you buy extra, you may be able to freeze it for later months.
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    Start a garden. Many fruits and vegetables can be grown in pots or in the ground. They can also be grown indoors or outside. Garden, when done right, can produce an abundance of produce that can be eaten fresh, canned or frozen. If you live in a community with little land, you may be able to start a community garden so the neighborhood can share in the benefits. This is especially helpful if you live in a neighborhood that has little access to a well stocked grocery store.
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    Purchase fruits and vegetables on sale. Many times grocery stores have more of one item in stock and they need it too sell quickly before it spoils. They will usually advertise the sales in a weekly circular. This is good for stocking up on that item.

Method 3
Cooking and Preparing

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    Always wash fresh produce before use. Produce is a major source of food contamination and illness. This is because so many people handle the fruits and vegetables and they are exposed to many different environments. To help reduce the risk of contamination, wash your produce before you cut it. This is even true for items with a rind, such as lemons.
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    Microwave vegetables for a quick meal. Vegetables can be steamed in a matter of minutes in the microwave. Many frozen vegetables already come in a bag, in which the vegetables can be steamed directly.
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    Add fruits and vegetables into the main meal component. They work well incorporated into roasted meats, crock pot meals and soups. They can also be disguised in these applications to help picky eaters get their daily requirement. Omelets are a great way to get more vegetables at breakfast.
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    Roast vegetables and store in fridge to add to meals as a side dish. Roasted vegetables have so much flavor and store in the fridge well for 3 to 5 days.
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    Steam vegetables in a rice steamer. A rice steamer helps take the guesswork out of steaming vegetables. Many steamers come with an instruction guide that will tell you how much water to add.
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    Eat fruits and vegetables raw. This is a quick way to get your daily requirement and works well all meals. Raw fruits and vegetables are also great “fast food” because they can be eaten anywhere. Fruit goes well on top of desserts or as dessert itself and requires very little preparation.


  • Don't drink loads of fruit juice cause it contains so much sugar!
  • Fruits and vegetables should come with little or no packaging. After you're done using peels and trimmings for soup, compost the rest and there will be no waste.
  • Make the transition slowly so your digestion and metabolism have time to adjust. Try eating one or two more servings of fruits and vegetables today than you did yesterday, and work up to two or three tomorrow.
  • Take a fruit or vegetable when you leave your house. Avoid using vending machines or going for fast foods or restaurant foods too often. If you work or study pack a lunch with plenty of good foods. You'll eat better and save money, too.
  • Learn new recipes to help you adjust. The more you can do with your fruits and vegetables, the more excited you'll be about eating them. You should also try replacing your less healthy snacks with fruits and vegetables, so you become accustomed to eating those instead of chips and desserts.
  • Colors of fruits and vegetables often signal different nutritional qualities. Purchase and eat a wide spectrum.
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified food.
  • Try to choose fruits and vegetables with minimal processing. If you have the choice, buy fresh, in-season peaches, for example, rather than canned peaches with added sugar.
  • By eliminating high-fat and high-sugar foods from your diet, it will be easier to acquire a taste for fruits and vegetables.
  • The USDA recommends eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the easier it becomes.


  • Always eat various fruits and vegetables for the maximum health benefits. If you only eat one fruit or vegetable, your body will not get all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients it needs.

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Categories: Nutrition and Lifestyle Eating