The happy person's meal plan
"The League of Incredible Vegetables," the latest video in the Veggie Tales series, might convince your kids that good-for-you foods have superpowers that they want, too. But who's gonna persuade Mom and Dad to enjoy (well-washed) fruits and veggies every day? Christian Bale in "Broccoliman: The Dark Stalk" isn't likely to hit theaters anytime soon!
Only 14 percent of you eat even two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day (one apple and 11/2 cups of cooked veggies). That meal plan can't give you the superpowers you need to stay healthy -- or happy. Poor nutrition not only puts you at risk for everything from flu to cancer and heart disease to diabetes, it affects your emotional well-being, too.
A study of 80,000 people found that the more servings of fruits and veggies you eat, the better you'll feel about your life and yourself. The best dose? The happiest people ate a total of seven a day. (We say, don't stop at seven!). Why? It may be that nutrients in those foods boost mood-enhancing brain chemicals -- and crowd out inflammation-producing sweets and saturated and trans fats that make you feel way off your game.
What does it take to get seven servings of fruits and vegetables? Six ounces of fruit juice, one banana (good after exercise), one apple (4 p.m. snack), one main-course-size bowl of salad greens (two servings) topped with 1/2 cup of mixed veggies (there's lunch), and a 1/2 cup of spinach or broccoli for dinner. That wasn't so hard, was it? Now you're smiling!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.