Friday, July 29, 2011

HCFI Update: The 5 Cs of five-a-day in selecting fruits and vegetables

The current recommendation is to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily to prevent cancer and heart disease.  Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and are low in calories. Those with the most color – dark green, red, yellow, and orange – have the most nutrients. Carrot, Celery, Cantaloupe, Cucumber and Corn are the five "Cs" which can be incorporated in the five-a-day diet. As per Ayurveda, one should mix all seven colours and six tastes when choosing fruits and vegetables.

As per the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, one should take 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits, vegetables and grain products that contain fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  Fiber-containing grain products, fruits and vegetables also reduce the risk of some cancers, said Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy national Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal President Heart Care Foundation of India and MTNL Perfect Health Mela.

A serving size is: one medium-size fruit, 1/2 cup raw or cooked fruits or vegetables, 180 ml fruit or vegetable juice, 1/2 cup cooked or canned legumes (beans and peas), 1 cup raw  leafy vegetables, 1/4 cup dried fruit.

•5 servings mean 2 fruits and 3 vegetables
•7 servings means 3 fruits and 4 vegetables
•9 servings means 4 fruits and 5 vegetables

Tips for safe eating

1.Snack with raw vegetables instead of potato chips.
2.Add fruits in breakfast.
3.Eat salads when you go out for lunch.
4.Prefer juice instead of the usual coffee, tea or soda.
5.Wash fruits and vegetables with water and scrub with a dish brush when appropriate.
6.Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and cabbage.
7.Peel and cook when appropriate, although some nutrients and fiber may be lost when produce is peeled.
8.Avoid fruits and vegetables that look brownish, slimy or dried out. These are signs that the product has been kept at an improper temperature
9.Wash cutting boards with hot water, soap and a scrub brush to remove food particles.
10.Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially fresh whole fruits and vegetables and raw meat, poultry and fish. Clean under fingernails, too.

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