Fresh VegetablesOn this National Eating Healthy Day, listen to the advice of generations of mothers: Eat your vegetables (and fruit).

Americans typically consume about half their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. For an average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily, that means about 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

“Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and low in saturated fat and calories,” said Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and immediate past-chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee. “Most fruits and vegetables also have no or little sodium, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.”

While heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and disability for all Americans, more than 80 percent of risk factors for heart disease and stroke are preventable through behaviors like making better food choices, getting regular exercise, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking.

The AHA has a free fruits and vegetable resource guide to help people incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diet.

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