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Fruits and vegetables prolong life, but you need a lot of them

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DENVER -- We've all heard the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  You may need a little more than that though if you want to fend off serious disease.

New studies show eating seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day can actually prolong your life.

Registered dietician Mary Lee Chin says, “It depends on the age, it can be anywhere from 5 to 9 (servings) so obviously for the younger children it's a little bit less but for adults it's about 7 to 9 servings a day.”

Researchers say sticking to that rule can cut your risk of cancer and stroke by more than 25 percent and your risk of death by 42 percent.

Getting all of those fruits and veggies onto our plates can be a real challenge, but there are ways to make it happen.  Chin says you can use a simple practice, “Make your dinner plate half fruits and vegetables.”

You can also choose fruit and veggies for snacks. The grater can be a parent’s best friend when it comes to adding veggies to all sorts of foods, just shred them and bake them right into breads, macaroni and cheese and even some desserts.

When it comes to eating on the go, Chin says sandwich shops are your best bet.

Lisa Yacuzzo, co-owner of the City Bakery Café on Seventh Avenue and Lincoln Street in Denver says everyone should have nutritious options no matter where they are.

She adds, “At a sandwich place they're going to have fresh vegetables so you can load up on those and you can avoid the things that are not healthy.”

Renowned Master baker Michael Bortz and baker Liz Buchanan create the menu featured at the City Bakery Café.

They showed Fox 31 just how quickly they can whip up a super healthy and super tasty gluten free veggie wrap that includes several servings of veggies.  The wrap may be healthy, but tastes like something you’d enjoy while cheating on your diet thanks to a tasty handmade low calorie vinaigrette.

Bortz says, “You can eat healthy anywhere you want anytime you want,” even if you want to limit the amount of bread you eat.

While the café offers traditional sandwiches people love, they also customize meals with flavorful add-ons like tapenade that can make all of those vegetables pretty enticing.

Nutritionists say that’s the key to maintaining a healthy diet, find a way to enjoy your fruits and veggies by using herbs, spices and other accents. You’ll forget you’re limiting the sugar, fat and carbs.

Get more information on the benefits of fruit and vegetables here.

To learn more about fast and healthy items at the City Bakery Café, you can visit the café at 726 Lincoln Street from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.