Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Yet, only 1 in 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables each day, putting them at risk for chronic disease.
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as an excellent source of fiber. Fruits and vegetables have been shown to help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and manage weight.
There are many reasons why adults in the U.S. fall short of the recommended intake of at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables. Studies have found that high cost, limited availability and access, and perceived lack of cooking/preparation time can be barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption. Some registered dietitians (RDs) believe fear-based messaging can also be a barrier.