How Can I Eat All That? Easy Ways to Include More Fruit and Vegetables in Your Diet

Olwen Anderson asked:

Here is how you can easily eat the right amount of fruit and vegetables every day:

First, the fruit. Ideally, you should have two to four serves of fruit every day, preferably fresh raw fruit rather than tinned, dried or processed. ‘One serve’ of fruit is:

- one piece of whole fruit, like one whole apple, banana or peach. Or
- one large wedge of fruit, like a large wedge of watermelon or rockmelon. Or
- ¾ cup of fresh fruit juice. Or
- ¼ cup of dried fruit.

You can use any combination to add up to the right number of serves. However its better to choose fresh raw fruit more often as its higher in fibre and more filling. Avoid dried fruit as a fruit serve as it is very high in natural sugar.

Here are some ideas to help add plenty of fruit into your diet:

- Top your breakfast porridge with a banana
- Enjoy a piece of fruit for morning or afternoon tea
- Make up a colourful fresh fruit salad for dessert

Now, the vegetables. You need five serves every day, at least two of these serves as green vegetables, and at least one of your serves should be an orange vegetable. “One Serving” size is ½ cup chopped vegetables, or one cup of leafy vegetables.

Here are some ideas to help you fit plenty of vegetables into your day:

- Enjoy your breakfast egg on a bed of wilted spinach rather than toast
- Plan to make a large raw salad one of your main meals. Add some protein for a complete meal.
- Instead of a pie and chips for lunch, order a salad sandwich from the local takeaway.
- Make up a delicious vegetable soup for your evening meal.
- Enjoying some evening drinks and dips? Make up a platter of carrot and celery sticks, and use these for the dips rather than biscuits.

The easy way to fit all this food into your day is to focus your menu fruit and veg first, then look for other foods to go with it. Here is a sample diet for a day:

Breakfast: Poached egg and baked beans with wilted spinach, or porridge topped with a banana.

Morning tea: Fresh apple or orange with a handful of nuts

Lunch: Salad sandwich with chicken. Fresh fruit to follow.

Afternoon tea: Hummus or beetroot dip with carrot and celery sticks

Dinner: Poached salmon with steamed potato, pumpkin, and broccoli. A colourful fruit salad for dessert.

There, easy isn’t it! Happy eating!

Banana Nutrition

Chantel Danis asked:

Bananas are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia and Australia. Banana plants are of the family Musaceae and are cultivated mostly for their fruit, and sometimes for the production of fiber and as ornamental plants. Bananas are tall, upright, and fairly sturdy. They are often mistaken for trees, however they are not.

They grow in hanging clusters of about 20 fruit known as a bunch or banana stem. They are 2 specific varieties that are well known and they are the green banana and the plantain which is usually cooked first hand. They also come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple and red.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, giving the body a boost of energy. Bananas are also a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Vitamin B6, also referred to as B complex is a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is “burned” to produce energy. They also help metabolize fats and protein and play an important role in maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

The most widely known vitamin is vitamin c. Again, a water soluble vitamin that is essential for the production of bones and connective tissue. This vitamin also helps with the absorption of iron. It is also an antioxidant, meaning it bonds with free radicals in the body that may damage cells like cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature aging.

Potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. Potassium is a natural diuretic that helps your body excrete water and sodium, thus promoting healthy cardiovascular health and regulating water balance. It also plays a role in muscle growth and contractions, nerve cell function, and protein synthesis.

As you can see, bananas offer tremendous nutritional value and should be a part of your every day regime.

Eat them raw or cook up some delicious recipes and reap the benefits.

It’s All About Bananas – Why Bananas Are Considered an Anti-Fattening Fruit

Manuel McDaniels asked:

So is there a truth behind the craze that hit Japan? Ever heard of the Morning Banana Diet? This was a diet regimen that was created by an Osaka pharmacist, Sumiko Watanabe for her husband who was trying to lose weight but was unsuccessful every time he tried. What made this program earn its reputation as an anti-fattening fruit? This article will be all about bananas-facts and how the Morning Banana Diet works.

• This diet is relatively simple to follow. This requires the person to eat only banana/s in the morning for breakfast plus a glass of lukewarm water as breakfast in the morning. The person is allowed to eat whatever he/she decides to eat for the rest of the day. However, he/she is not allowed to eat beyond 8 o’clock in the evening. This regimen however is not recommended for everybody. Heath experts discourage people suffering from constipation and those whose potassium intake needed to be regulated.

• It is as anti-fattening fruit: The secret to this fruit as an effective way to lose weight if the fat that it is filling despite the fact that it contains small amount of calories and very minimal fat. You can eat banana without the worrying about fat being absorbed by your body. It is also known to be rich in fiber. Fiber helps flush out unwanted fat. It is also known to aid in metabolism.

• Other health benefits: Aside from its anti-fattening property, there are also other health benefits which makes this fruit worthy of the attention. It contain potassium (for lower blood pressure), vitamin C (strong resistance), vitamin B6 (essential for brain function) and magnesium.

According to the numerous people who have lost pounds using this diet regimen, Banana is an anti-fattening fruit!

Creative Breakfast Ideas Involving Fruit

Amy Nutt asked:

The American Dietetic Association stresses not only the importance of breakfast, but the quality of breakfast foods consumed. A nutritious breakfast will give you a healthy start to your day. Fruit is one important food that should be included in one’s breakfast as it is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants.

The following is a list of creative breakfast ideas involving fruit:

1. Spread peanut butter on a small pita and wrap it around a banana. Make sure you get your calcium with a large glass of cold milk.

2. Have a delicious waffle that is topped with berries and yogurt.

3. Fill a pita with fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

4. Have a scrambled egg or omelet sandwich with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Have a fresh banana with it.

5. For a light breakfast, have a muffin or English muffin with a fruit spread, a banana, and a glass of milk.

6. Have a fruit smoothie made in a blender. One recipe is:

Berry Banana Smoothie

1 frozen banana, peeled and cut up
1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (such as raspberries, blackberries and/or strawberries)
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Preparation: Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

7. Have a delicious fruit salad. Cut up all your favorite fruits in a bowl. Add yogurt or honey. Add some granola on top. You can also try the following recipe:

2 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 large red apples, chopped
1 cup red or green grapes
1 medium banana, sliced
1/2 cup lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Preparation: In a bowl, combine the fruit and mix. Combine the yogurt and orange juice and sprinkle it over the fruit.

8. Make some pancakes and add fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

9. Have a parfait that includes layering granola, yogurt, and fruit in a parfait dish.

10. Make a toasted bagel topped with cream cheese and fruit slices such as berries.

11. Have a healthy fruit Hodge Podge:


1 honeydew melon cut up into chunks
1 banana cut into pieces
1 apple cut into pieces apples
50g of a granola cereal
2 tablespoons yogurt

Combine all ingredients. You can also use your own favorite fruits.

12. You can try this Breakfast Fruit Cobbler:

2 Cups of fresh, canned or frozen fruit
Place fruit in a baking dish sprayed with cooking oil.

2 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
2 Teaspoon water or (juice from the canned fruits)
1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice

Mix together and pour over fruit in dish.

1/2 Cup quick cooking oats
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon or (1/4 Teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg)
1/4 Cup cold butter

Preparation: Mix together cutting in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit in dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

A nutritious breakfast includes fruit which is a great source of fiber. Being creative with your breakfasts will make your food more enjoyable and give you the necessary fuel to take on the day.

Real Acai Fruit Smoothies – Good For Health

Mohita Bhargava asked:

Smoothies are all time favorite. People just keep trying new healthy combination that are not only nutritious but also very tasty. Before we move ahead and discuss about the different types of smoothies available in the market, lets us know what it is. Basically, they are a blended, chilled beverage made using fresh fruits like pineapples, apples, mango, lemon, blueberry, chocolate strawberry banana smoothie and others. Smoothies have milk shake like consistency.

In addition to these fresh and tasty fruits, these days the smoothies include crushed / flaked ice and frozen yogurt also. To make them a complete health drink, some restaurants, cafés and coffee shops have started using different add – ins like soy milk, whey powder, herbal supplements, green tea and other nutritional supplement mixes.

The yummy taste of this healthy drink has attracted the attention of many. Specially the food lovers … they just want to experiment and have something new each and every time. To keep up the words ” that smoothie is healthy”, now acai smoothies are also available. Acai is a fruit found in Brazil. It has lot many health benefits and is known for strengthening the immune system, promoting sound sleep, cleaning and detoxifying the body, improves circulation, enhances visual acuity and much more.

Well you won’t be finding this as a fresh fruit in your area, because the food stays fresh only for a day. May be, you can go in for some fozen acai berries. These berries can be used for making a smoothie that is rich in vitamins and minerals. The fruit has antioxidant properties and can be used by anyone. If you have plans for making an acai smoothie then here is the recipe for use. It is simple to make. All you need is your favorite mixture of ganola, fruits like acai, mangoes, raspberries, pineapple, banana, pineapple and other fruits you like. Cut them into the pieces, and blend them. Then in a bowl add all the ingredients. Your favorite acai fruit smoothie is ready. It is rich antioxidant and keeps you energetic throughout the day.

In case you don’t have the time, to prepare one at home, then go in for a ready made one. They are equally healthy and would be coming soon on line. The market has all the incredible ones like Prox Acai Smoothie, Acai AX Smoothie and much more.

Fruit Foil Desserts

Scott Carey asked:

Foil can be used to cook some delicious fruit desserts. Apples and bananas are particularly popular fruits to cook using foil. Foil provides an easy way to cook with no-mess cleanup. It is often used to cook over coals, but foil may also be used to cook the same dishes right at home in your oven.

Baked apples are a camp favorite. To make this delicious dessert, take a large apple, leave the peeling on and core it, leaving a portion of the bottom intact. If possible, save a portion of the top to cover the filled apple. Fill the core with your choice of filling, such as cinnamon and sugar, walnuts, raisins, marshmallows, nutmeg, brown sugar, butter, and/or coconut. Replace a portion of the top to keep the filling in as the apple cooks. Wrap the entire apple in tin foil, shiny side up. Heavy-duty aluminum foil is best. It will be less likely to puncture and will help keep the food from burning. Place the foil-wrapped apple in coals and cook for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the package, unwrap and enjoy.

A different way to do baked apples is to simply slice the apples, put the slices in the middle of the foil and sprinkle with the desired toppings. Close the foil, and cook on the coals. You can substitute peaches instead of apples for this if desired.

Another favorite foil fruit dish is banana boats. To make banana boats, cut a v-shaped wedge along the top entire length of the banana, leaving the peel attached at one end if possible. You can eat the wedge. Fill the cavity with fillings such as chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, nuts, peanut butter, butterscotch chips, Reeses pieces, or any other filling that you desire. Replace the peel over the top of the filling and wrap in aluminum foil, with the shiny side to the inside of the package. Place the fruit package on its side in coals. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The key is to get the fillings to melt, without totally cooking the banana, which makes it somewhat mushy. You end up with a dish that is a campfire version of a banana split (without the ice cream!).

Here is a simple way to make individual pineapple upside down cake. Take a plain cake doughnut and cut it in half, like a bagel. Take a pineapple slice and place it between each half of the donut. Wrap in foil and place on coals for 5 minutes, turning at least once. Serve with whipped cream.

Vegetable and Fruit Diet

Dr John Anne asked:

Every person should take 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday, as it is nutritious diet. Many dieticians promotes vegetables and fruits diet as to look good and feel good, you need to eat at least 2 ½ cups of veggies and 1 ½ cups of fruits every day. It’s no matter if you can’t eat fruits at a time, you can eat small bits of fruits and veggies throughout the day.

If you take fruits and vegetables in diet it will provide the necessary roughage and that is essential when constipation, which is a common complaint during pregnancy but what can you do if you don’t really like fruit or vegetables? This is not a matter of worry as you can choose the following options to make your diet in desired manner.

Diet Plan

You can take fruit or vegetable salad as your fruit diet. A range of healthy vegetable dips and dippers can prove a good option for lunch. You should try to take those fruits or vegetables, which you like; in addition of it you can take a side salad with greens you like to eat meals. You can add banana in your breakfast, grated carrots in your lunch and two vegetables with your main meal.

A pregnant woman should take sour fruits such as mangoes, grapes, lemons, tomatoes, oranges, berries, and guavas in early pregnancy and sweet fruits such as cheeku and banana etc in the later months. You should try to have fruits with peels, as peels too have additional nutrients and fiber.

Benefits Of Taking Fruit and vegetable Diet

Eating fruit is beneficial as seasonal fruits help to get rid of many health problems. If you take snacks made of fruit it will prove helpful for you to stay longer. Fresh juices made up of sweet lime, oranges, pineapple, musk melon, and water melons are abundant in summer as it is helpful in keeping you hydrated. If you take a vegetable soup for lunch, it will mean that you eat several different vegetables without even realizing it. All of these will add vitamins, minerals and fiber to your diet.

Healthy Fruit Smoothies and Their Benefits

Lisa Harper asked:

We are recommended to have our five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Adhering to this requirement means eating a bowl of salad and having fruit with every meal, a task which most of us find quite daunting. Smoothies provide a great way to make us eat healthy. All we have to do is mix together the servings of fruits and vegetables with some liquid, and drink it.

Because of the ingredients they contain, healthy fruit smoothies are full of vitamins and minerals which are essential for good health. There is no limit to the kind of fruit or fruit combination’s that you can come up with; they can be simple or exotic. The choice largely depends on taste and nutritional needs. Using fresh or frozen ones does not matter much since they still have the same nutrients. People may vary in their tastes but some fruits are more commonly used than others. Three of the most popular are bananas, blueberries and strawberries.

Bananas are great when mixed with nuts or peanut butter. The result is a very creamy drink which is a favorite for many. To make this banana smoothie, you have to mix 2 medium bananas with raw nuts, vanilla stevia and 1 pear with a half cup of water into a blender and blend for 20 seconds. In less than a minute, a healthy beverage can be enjoyed. This drink is full of potassium, a mineral which has been to help in maintaining a healthy circulatory system and is used in the proper functioning of muscles. It also regulates the acid levels in the stomach and lowers the risk of developing stomach ulcers. The fiber content aids in digestion as well.

Blueberries are one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants and their benefits are numerous. This fruit prevents urinary tract infections, prevents macular degeneration of the eyes, slows down aging, promotes brain function, prevents constipation, aids in digestion, prevents and cures cancer and boosts the immune system. This is due to the antibiotic properties of blueberries as well as the carotenoids and flavonoids contained in them, along with vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and selenium. If you want to achieve these benefits, try blending 1 banana and 1 cup of blueberries with vanilla stevia, lemon juice, a cup of water and ice cubes. You can then enjoy your glasses of blueberry-flavored healthy fruits smoothies.

Among the three top fruit ingredients, strawberries are perhaps the most well-known. An easy-to-make smoothie recipe calls for 1 banana, 1cup strawberries, vanilla stevia, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a cup of water and ice cubes. Because strawberry is very versatile, other fruits can be added to this basic mixture. Strawberries are good for the heart. It lowers the level of bad cholesterol and raises the level of the good ones. It regulates blood pressure and keeps it normal. Aside from these properties, the fruit contains antioxidants that combat cell damage. What’s more, it is very low in calories and has no cholesterol and sodium.

These healthy fruit smoothies indeed provide us with what our bodies needs. We must be thankful that being fit is within anybody’s reach, if only we are willing to commit to living a healthy lifestyle.

How to Grow Bananas

Linda Jenkinson asked:

If your grocer says, “Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today,” it isn’t surprising since the banana is the world’s second favorite fruit, surpassed in popularity only by the apple. Once only grown in tropical climates, the good news is that several varieties can be grown in northern areas as well as in the south.

Because it takes nine months or more to reach maturity, some northern gardeners grow the banana plant only for its spectacular ornamental foliage. However, in the hobby greenhouse, even northern growers can achieve a fruit harvest and reap the added benefit of seeing the amazing way in which fruit is produced.

Probably because of its height, the banana plant is often incorrectly called a banana tree. Actually, though, the banana is the largest herbaceous perennial and belongs to the monocotyledons of the Musaceae family, which also includes palms, grasses, and orchids.

Bananas grow from rhizomes, which are stems that take root and send shoots (suckers) up through the soil. Banana plants may also be propagated through suckers (also called pups or ratoons) that grow from the main stem of the banana plant. If you have difficulty in finding banana rhizomes at your local nursery, you can find them in most garden catalogs as well as Internet garden outlets.
Site and soil

The banana plant grows best in full sun in soil that provides excellent drainage. Good drainage is crucial since saturated roots may die in less than an hour. It is also important to shelter the banana plant from heavy winds that can tatter the banana plant foliage.

The banana plant is a very heavy feeder. Soil should be nutrient rich, slightly acidic, and loamy enough to retain moisture and keep nutrients from leaching below the shallow roots of the plant. Amendments of good organic compost and green sand or kelp meal will help maintain the banana plant’s high mineral requirements.

Planting Banana Rhizomes

Dig a hole about a foot wide and ten to twelve inches deep. Set the rhizome in the hole so that the union between it and the sucker stem are about six inches deep. If your site isn’t level, the eye of your banana rhizome should be on the uphill side of your hole. Fill the hole with soil and tamp down firmly to remove any air pockets. If planting more than one rhizome, plants need to be spaced at least ten feet apart so that each gets the benefit of full sun. Water your planting sparingly to keep the rhizome healthy until the plant is established.

Banana Plant Growth

Because of its rapid growth, the banana plant is one that you almost can sit back and watch grow.
When the banana plant is about three-quarters grown, it produces several suckers at its base. Remove all of these, save one, by trimming them at ground level with a sharp knife. The saved shoot is called a follower. It will become your banana plant’s main stem after the mother plant fruits.

The “trunk” of the banana plant is actually a densely packed group of concentric leaves, a pseudostem. After the banana plant has grown about thirty leaves, the fruit stem shoots through them from the rhizome and emerges as a terminal inflorescence (a group of flowers at the tip of the stem). The fruit stem matures three to four months after its emergence. Flower bracts soon cover the stem and then roll back almost daily, each exposing a “hand” of bananas. At the beginning of their development, the little hands grow downward, but as they grow, they turn their fingers towards the sun and appear to be growing upside down. This phenomenon is called “negative geotropism”.

Banana Harvest

A banana bunch is ready to cut when the fruit is round and plump with no obvious ribs. At this point, the flower bracts will be very dry and easily break off from the fruit tip. To harvest bananas, the stalk of the bunch should be cut well above the top hand of bananas.

Bananas ripen by self-producing heat and ethylene gas. To maximize your banana harvest, pick individual green hands to ripen them for use. Seal the hand in a plastic bag with another ripening banana or a fruit like a red apple. The hand makes use of the gas produced by the ripening fruit and speeds up the process. Place the bag in a cool dark place, like a cupboard (a refrigerator is too cold!). After 24 to 48 hours, remove the ripening fruit. The hand of bananas should be able to finish the ripening process on its own.

After harvest, cut the mother plant down to ground level. The “follower” will take her place for next year’s banana growing!

Have You Tried the Acid Reflux Banana Treatment?

Kathryn Whittaker asked:

There are different ways to treat acid reflux symptoms, regardless of the cause. While some treatments involve the use of medications, other treatments take a more natural approach such as the acid reflux banana treatment.

Aside from being a really tasty and nutritious fruit high in vitamins and minerals, bananas contain virtually no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. For this reason, bananas are not only an integral part of a healthy diet, they can be used as a natural remedy to treat and prevent a number of health issues including, insomnia, depression, anemia, hypertension, and heartburn.

How exactly can a banana help with heartburn? Bananas have a natural antacid effect on the body. They primarily suppress acid secretion in the stomach by coating and protecting the stomach from acid, which helps against the formation of stomach ulcers and ulcer damage.

There are two ways in which the antacid property of a banana helps suppress acid:

Firstly, bananas contain a substance that encourages the activation of the cells that make up the lining of the stomach. As a result, a thicker mucus barrier is formed to provide the stomach with more protection against acid.

Secondly, bananas feature compounds called “protease inhibitors”, which help to eliminate certain bacteria within the stomach that have been found to contribute to the development of stomach ulcers.

How can I add bananas to my diet? If you would like to help prevent heartburn by incorporating bananas, try eating a banana a half-hour before a meal, or directly after a meal. Some GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) sufferers also find eating a banana during a meal or half a banana before and after a meal beneficial. It’s also a good idea to eat a banana when heartburn symptoms appear.

If the idea of eating a plain banana doesn’t thrill you, there are more fun and tasty ways you can add bananas to your diet. The following are some suggestions:

Eat dried banana or mashed banana as a snack

Cut up a fresh banana or use dried banana pieces and add it to cereal, yogurt, and salads

Make a banana smoothie with live cultured yoghurt

Banana shake (if you are allergic to milk and milk products, substitute with soy milk)

Banana split – go easy on the ice cream

Banana bread

Banana muffins

Banana cake

Fruit bowl (excluding citrus fruits)

Banana sandwich with cinnamon

Here are a few other facts to keep in mind when making banana recipes:

Bananas with green tips are best used for cooking or should be left to ripen before eating.

Bananas with yellow tips are best for eating

Bananas that are browning or have dark brown or black specks are ideal for baking (Note: the more ripe the banana, the sweeter it will be because the starch has turned to sugar, making it better for baking)

Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, are available all year round, and are low in cost, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to make acid reflux banana remedies part of your regular diet. However, it is important that you eat bananas according to your lifestyle requirement. Keep in mind that Bananas are high in sugar. Thus, if you are eating more than one banana per day, you do need to burn off the energy you are providing your body to maintain a healthy body weight. Also, refrain from eating bananas close to bedtime because acid reflux can still occur when you are sleeping as the lower esophagus sphincter relaxes.