Why Are They Important?
There are SO many reasons fruit and vegetables should be part of your diet and be so in abundance. Here are just some of them:
- Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol.
- They are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and may protect against certain types of cancers.
- Adding fruits and vegetables can help increase intake of fiber and potassium, which are important nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
How to Increase Your Intake:
To increase your fruit and vegetable intake, the key is to keep it simple! You don’t need to make complicated salads or eat specific types- all are good! But here are some tips to make it as easy as possible.
- Remember that it doesn’t matter the form- fresh, canned, or frozen are all good! If it is canned, choose those that are in their own juices instead of syrups.
- Look at your meals and just add them into each meal. Whether that’s adding broccoli to a casserole or an apple for dessert, each meal should include at least a fruit or vegetable in it, if not both.
- If your schedule is busy and you are always on the go, choose those that are easy to eat on the run. Baby carrots, celery stalks, a banana, or grapes are all easily eaten as you move about your day.
- If you are attending or hosting an event, always include fruits and vegetables to the meal. Bring a veggie tray, include a salad on the menu, or have fruit as the dessert.
Week 5 Recipe
Blackberry, Avocado, and Arugula Salad: Wow this salad looks good! Add some grilled chicken on top and you have a complete dinner!
Vegging Out: Fruits and Vegetables Challenge
Why It’s Important: Fruits and vegetables should ultimately make up the majority of your diet, though often they end up being the area we lack the most in. Increasing your intake will not only help you with losing weight, but also with your overall health as well- they are full of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Your Challenge: Aim to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake by 2 servings each this week. At the same time, try to have one of each at each meal.