September is Fruit and Vegetable Month

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Did you know that September is Fruit and Vegetable Month?  There is actually a featured Fruit and Vegetable each month.  Several years ago, the National 5 A Day program became the national Fruit and Vegetable Program and launched a new public health initiative, Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.  The new guidelines recommend two to six and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day (four to 13 servings).  The program seeks to inform everyone that eating fruits and vegetables can improve their health and reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke.

Fruits and Vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but what lies inside is the real beauty.  Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red apples, and white onions. Eating these gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

Substituting fruits and vegetables for higher calorie foods can be part of a weight loss strategy.

Even you busy people can benefit from food that’s nutritious, yet easy to eat on-the-go, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Snack on raw veggies like baby carrots, pepper strips, broccoli, and celery. You can even grab an apple, orange, banana, pear to eat on the go. Try stashing bags of dried fruit in your backpack or at your desk for a convenient snack.  Fruits and veggies are a natural source of energy and give the body nutrients you need to keep going.

Other ways to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake

  • Have a fruit or juice at breakfast daily.
  • Pile spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on your pizza.
  • Check out the salad bar at the dining hall – it has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on it daily.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and other brightly colored fruits – fresh frozen or canned- to your waffles, pancakes or toast.

To learn more about Fruits and Vegetables go to http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov