Stay Healthy, lower your health insurance, Part 4. Eat more fruit.

Did you know that you can lower the cost of your health insurance plans by living a healthy lifestyle? There are some medical conditions that can increase the price of your health insurance that you can’t control, i.e. preexisting or hereditary conditions. However, there are things you can control that improve your healthy lifestyle that can keep you out of the doctor’s office and not spending all of your head earned money. Want to find inexpensive health insurance? Eat healthier and avoid the doctor.

One way to do that is to: Eat more fruit.

If you think of prune juice when someone says “eat more fruit”, think again. Fruit is the sweeter counterpart of the food pyramid, right next to the veggies. Imagine strawberries, melons, bananas, grapes and apples.

It is recommended that you eat 2-4 servings of vegetables a day. Examples are: one medium apple, 1/2 cup of chopped fruit or 3/4 cup fruit juice. When counting fruit juice, it is important to remember to drink juice with 100% fruit. Most juices have loads of sugar and calories making it worse for you than not having it at all. And don’t even try to count orange or lemon/lime soda as a fruit. There is about as much real fruit in there as in a shoe. The amount of servings will also depend on how many calories you aim to consume in a day. But a good rule of thumb is about 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.

For those who aren’t used to eating fruits everyday, here are some ideas to help sneak in those extra servings.

  • Trade those potato chips for an apple or an orange. Fruits make great snacks and can satisfy you longer than those salty chips.
  • Ditch your breakfast burrito for a cup of low-fat plain yogurt, topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Top with granola for an extra crunch. Not quite sweet enough, mix in some honey for a natural sweetener.
  • Drink your fruits. But not in a juice way. Try drink V-8 for a mixture of fruits and veggies. Or make your own smoothies. Toss in your favorite fruits (mine are a mixture of berries and a banana), some milk and ice, and then blend. Add ice depending on desired consistency. Or try pina-coladas with fresh pineapple and some coconut.
  • Plant a garden or fruit trees. If you are like me, I can’t stand to see wasted food. During the late summer and early fall, you can get tons of raspberries, apricots and peaches, free from your very own garden!
  • Make some homemade fruit dip. It’s cheaper and healthier than buying it at the store, and it will get the whole family eating more fruits.
  • Cut up different fruits and take them with you. When you have the urge to snack, pull out some fruit. Once you have reached your allotted servings, then pull out a different treat if you are still hungry.

By being creative, you can easily and effectively get healthier by eating more fruit!