Health & Medicine

The docs offer advice: Don’t strike out on fruits, veggies

Outfielder Mike Henry Jordan played for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys baseball team in the 1890s and he’s still on the list of players with the lowest batting averages ever! In his 125 times at bat he managed to connect with the baseball only about once every 10 times. That same sorry stat applies to most Americans’ nutritional plate appearances: A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says that only 1 in 10 of you is eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. That means most of you are missing out on produce’s ability to protect you from a roster of diseases, including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

To become a nutritional all-star, you need between five (the minimum recommended) and nine servings of fruits and veggies daily. As a minimum, you should aim for three servings of fruit a day (a banana, an apple and an orange). But only 13 percent of you eat even 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily! And you need a minimum of 4 cups of veggies daily (2 cups of greens, plus 1 cup each of broccoli and asparagus) to get on base. But only 9 percent of you have 2 to 3 cups a day.

To boost your nutritional batting average, try buying pre-bagged salad mixes and frozen vegetables and fruits. Get in the habit of snacking on fresh fruit once a day. And puree veggies to add to all sauces and soups you make, or even those from a can. Then you’ll have a chance to get on base with the healthy team.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit