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Are You A Nutritional All-Star?

Are You A Nutritional All-Star?

Outfielder Mike Henry Jordan played for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys baseball team in the 1890s and still makes lists of players with the lowest batting averages ever. In his 125 times at bat he managed to connect with the baseball about once every 10 times. That same disappointing stat applies to most Americans’ nutritional plate appearances: A CDC study says only 1 in 10 is eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. That means most are missing out on produce’s ability to protect against a roster of diseases, including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

To become a nutritional all-star you need between 5 (the minimum recommended) and 9 servings of fruits and veggies daily. As a minimum, try to aim for 3 servings of fruit a day (a banana, an apple and an orange). But only 13% of Americans even eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily. And you need a minimum of 4 cups of veggies daily (2 cup greens, plus 1 cup each of broccoli and asparagus) to get on base. But only 9% have 2 to 3 cups a day.

To boost your nutritional batting average, try buying pre-bagged salad mixes and frozen vegetables and fruits. Get in the habit of snacking on fresh fruit once a day. And puree veggies to add to all sauces and soups you make -- or even open from a can. Then you’ll have a chance to get on base with the healthy team.

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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