Harvard Heart Letter

13 ways to add fruits and vegetables to your diet

Plug into the power of produce to keep your heart and the rest of you healthy.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a cornerstone of good health. It helps control blood pressure and cholesterol, keeps arteries flexible, protects bones, and is good for the eyes, brain, digestive system, and just about every other part of the body. But many of us have trouble putting that knowledge into practice and getting five or more (emphasis on the "more") servings a day.

One big barrier to tapping into the power of produce is the perception that fruits and vegetables are expensive. That's not necessarily so. You can buy three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables for well under $2 a day, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's cheap insurance when you consider the high financial, physical, and emotional cost of a heart attack or stroke or a chronic disease like diabetes, osteoporosis, or vision loss.

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