Doctors, cancer researchers, and nutritionists all agree on one thing: We need a several servings of fruits and vegetables daily – which begs two questions.
How many cups are in a serving of fruits and vegetables?
According to the Harvard Center For Public Health:
For most fresh or cooked vegetables and fruits, 1 cup is just what you would put in a household measuring cup. There are two main exceptions to that rule: For lettuce and other raw leafy greens, you need to eat 2 cups to get the equivalent of 1 cup of vegetables. For dried fruit, you only need to eat ½ cup to get the equivalent of 1 cup of fruit.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do I need?
Again, from the Harvard School of Public Health:
The latest dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day), depending on one’s caloric intake. (1) For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day (2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables).
Most men need at least 2,000 calories to survive. I personally eat between 2,500 and 3,000 kcals/day. In theory we would need between nine and 15 servings each day.
Once we know how many servings of fruits and vegetables to eat each day, another question arises.
How many cups of juice do I need to drink each day?
You need to drink much less juice than you might suspect. According to the Stanford Cancer Center:
1 cup of carrot or celery juice provides most of the same nutrients found in 5 cups of those same vegetables chopped up.
In other words, a single 8-ounce glass of juice is an entire day’s worth of fruits and vegetables. (!)
Since most of us are drinking 16 ounces of juice at a minimum (my last juice filled a Starbucks Trenta sized cup, or 31 ounces), we are obviously super charging out health.
When it comes to juicing fruits and vegetables, more really is better. From WebMD:
Jan. 18, 2011 — We’re all urged to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but new research finds eight servings may be needed to cut the risk of dying from heart disease.
The diet and lifestyles of more than 300,000 people across eight countries in Europe found that people who ate at least eight portions of fruits and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate three portions a day.
Each additional portion in fruits and vegetables was linked to a 4% lower risk of death.
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