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How To Eat Four Servings Of Fruits & Vegetables Every Day

Our veggie-hating colleague tried, and succeeded!

Start cultivating this healthy habit with these doable tips.

The Health Promotion Board recommends a daily intake of two servings of fruits and two servings of vegetables. Photo: Olena Kachmar / 123rf.com

Anti-greens, you know it's important to hit your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. (It's four servings, by the way. Two for fruits, two for veggies.)

Doing so promotes digestion, gut health, bowel movements and weight maintenance. When you're filled with fibre, you're much less likely to crave for snacks and junk food. Plus, you'll be loading up on plenty of disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants!

For those who dine out, it's a hassle trying to meet your fruits and veggies requirement. Unless you order a salad or economic rice, veggies are usually non-existent in your main course, or at best, added as an afterthought. (Think about the measly strands of chye sim in wonton noodles and hor fun.)

To find a way around this, we challenged Shape's carnivorous art director Ray Ticsay to cultivate a habit of having at least four servings of fruits and vegetables every day for 21 days... and he did! Read his account below.

I chose this healthy habit because… I almost never meet the Health Promotion Board’s recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, as I eat most of my meals out, and they're usually meat-heavy. I also find that many vegetables taste bland and boring.

(Also read: 13 Fresh Vegetables That Taste Better Than Cabbage & Kai Lan)

Cultivating this habit for three weeks was… initially difficult as I didn’t have anyone to watch my diet. By the second week, I got the hang of it and actually liked that I had more types of food to eat in each meal. By the third week, eating fruits and vegetables became part of my diet. The challenge then was making sure there was variety so that I didn’t get bored. (Here are more ways to sneak fibre into your meals.)

After the challenge, I learnt that… making sure my body gets enough nutrients is my responsibility. Consuming more fibre also keeps my bowel movements smooth.

Your advice for someone who wants to develop this habit? Start by eating the veggies you like. If you get full quickly, having fruits in the morning instead of after meals makes it easier to meet the recommended intake. Make sure to have a variety of fruits and vegetables so that you don’t give up on this habit.

Also read:

5 Really Nutritious Fruits & Vegetables You Should Be Eating

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