Researchers at the Imperial College of London are recommending that people eat at least 10 servings of vegetables per day. Doing so is believed to lower your chances of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death. Serving sizes are actually small — about 3-4 ounces — so that’s not really all that difficult to pull off.

My Salad Days

When I was living in New York City in the 1990s, I spent almost five years as a vegetarian. It was very odd to my family. When I would come home for visits, they didn’t know what to feed me. The concept of building a meal that wasn’t centered around meat is a big mindset jump for most Americans.

I’m no longer a strict vegetarian but I do limit the amount of meat I eat. It’s not for any political reason, I’m not making any kind of statement by it, I just don’t like meat that much. Even as a kid I would take a tiny piece of meat and eat mostly potatoes, vegetables and salad.

I feel very different after eating a meal with mostly meat and eating a meal mostly made of vegetables. If I eat a steak or a hamburger I feel very full, sluggish, and take a long time to digest the food. When I eat vegetables, I feel alert, satisfied, and in a better mood. I don’t feel like I need to take a nap to sleep off the heavy meal.

Save Money, Eat Veggies

Besides the health benefits, the added bonus is that vegetables are so much more affordable than meat. The price of beef and chicken these days is astronomical. I don’t know how people feed a whole family meat every day.

When I go to the farmer’s market, I can fill my basket with all kinds of veggies and get out of there for less than $20.

Ten servings may seem like a lot. But it’s easier than you think. One of my favorite lunches is to take a tortilla wrap, spread on a little hummus, and add salad vegetables. I add cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and shredded carrots. That’s four servings right there. Add some avocado or tomatoes to your breakfast, or some fruit in the morning, and you’ve got 2-3 more. Have 2-3 vegetables at dinner and some fruit for dessert and you’ve made your quota for the day.

Even adding half the recommended servings of vegetables to your day is beneficial.

To see how small a serving size is, click through to this article that has a chart with some examples:

Forget five a day, eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

Eating 10 servings of vegetables and fruits can be as easy as having a banana for a snack or a glass of orange juice, or two pieces of broccoli. You can even eat multiple servings of your favorite vegetable. They don’t have to be 10 different vegetables.

What are your favorite fruits and vegetables? I’m a huge fan of mashed potatoes, salad greens, chopped tomatoes, bananas, and cherries. Let me know your favorites in the comments section.