Eating more fruits and veggies is good for you. Of course we know we should be eating more fruits and veggies but why? We know they are good for us. We know they are better than processed foods and candy but why? Well, they are a major source of Vitamin A, C and K, potassium, fiber and magnesium; they reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers; are low in calories to help maintain a healthy body weight; are a convenient and quick snack; and nutritious AND delicious!
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 focuses on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and being physically active to help Americans maintain their weight, reduce their risk for chronic diseases and promote overall health. You should be making an effort to eat 1-3 cups of fruit and 2-4 cups of veggies a day. Inactive females are on the low end and active males are on the high end, find what works for your lifestyle!
Add variety! There are over 200 different fruits & vegetables. That is 200 different flavors, textures, colors, preparations and prices offering something new almost every day for you and your family. All forms count when eating a colorful variety: fresh, frozen, canned and dried. With such a variety there is something to please everyone!
Some helpful hints to add to your balanced diet:
- Fresh or frozen fruit in smoothies or yogurt
- Prep fruits & veggies for your snack throughout the day
- Plan fresh or frozen vegetables for your side dishes
- Load on the veggies to your salads and sandwiches
With summer here we have fresh produce at our fingertips. Make time to take advantage of purchasing or growing your own before Jack Frost comes back before you know it!
Submitted by: Megan Swenson, Certified Wellness Coach at St. Croix Regional Medical Center
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