Now that the weather is warming up, you're probably noticing a lot of farmers markets setting up shop. But the truth is, Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says only one in ten eats the daily recommended amount, which is five servings. That's 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables.
"The consumption of veggies in the U.S. has been stagnant and has been stagnant for quite a while, " said Adam Drewnowski with the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition. "No matter what we do, it's not going up."
Drewnowski says the French eat twice the amount of vegetables than Americans.
So how do we do better? First off, know what you're buying. Drewnowski says frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh vegetables. In terms of nutrients, organic vegetables and non-organic veggies are basically the same. Also, remember canned vegetables still count toward the daily recommendations. Just make sure to drain the liquid that can be packed with sodium.
Drewnowski and his team at UW put together an "affordable food index", breaking down which vegetables give you the most bang for your buck when grocery shopping. They found the most inexpensive vegetables that are still packed with nutrients include, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.
Drewnowski says the vegetables that contain the most nutrients include spinach, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and sweet peppers. He calls these the super foods.