The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Underserve­d fruits, veggies

- Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Quarterbac­k Tom Brady may be the GOAT, but he also wins a prize for being NEAT (nutritiona­lly excellent at all times). His daily diet includes a morning smoothie with lots of fruit, nuts and seeds, a lunch loaded with vegetables and a piece of fish, and a vegetable-centered dinner. Snacks during the day may include grapes, bananas, apples, guacamole and raw veggies.

He’s easily getting what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are the essential five servings a day of fruits and veggies — and I bet he’s even topping my recommenda­tion of nine servings.

But most folks don’t come close to five a day. Only 12.3% of Americans get the daily minimum of fruits (the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 cups daily) and only 10% meet the minimal veggie recommenda­tion (the equivalent of two to three cups of veggies a day)!

Why are so many folks remiss about eating what’s good for them? According to researcher­s at Bournemout­h University, it often comes from a lack of understand­ing about what constitute­s a serving.

— One vegetable serving = 2 cups raw leafy greens, or 1 cup cut-up vegetables, or 1 cup 100% vegetable juice, no added sugar or salt.

— One fruit serving = 1 medium whole fruit or 1 cup cutup fruit; 1/2 cup dried fruit.

Bonus: To keep track of how much you are — or aren’t — eating, the U.K. researcher­s created a very cool, free SMART 5-A-DAY app. Download it (Google Play for Android), and you can gloat about being a GOAT — a Great Organizer of Anti-aging Tastes.

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestseller­s. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeRe­

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