Eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Eating healthy can also help prevent obesity and high blood pressure.
September is ‘Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month’! This campaign, started by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, highlights the importance of eating fruits and veggies throughout the lifecycle.
Below are some tips for incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet:
Tips to help you eat fruits:
- Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate cut-up fruit to store for later.
- Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.
- Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
- Consider convenience when shopping. Try pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that do not have added sugars.
Tips to help you eat veggies:
- Buy fresh vegetables in season. They cost less and are likely to be at their peak flavor.
- Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave.
- Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes. Buy packages of veggies such as baby carrots or celery sticks for quick snacks.
- Use a microwave to quickly “zap” vegetables. White or sweet potatoes can be baked quickly this way.
- Vary your veggie choices to keep meals interesting.
- Try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.
For more information on fruits and veggies, as well as recipe ideas, check out: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/