September: Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month

Telling someone to eat more fruits and veggies these days, might earn you an eye roll. We all know that in order to be healthy we need to eat more of these, right? Well, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, more than 90% of both children and adults do not eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 

Ninety percent?! You read that right. Since most of us are still not getting the right amount, I’ll share some enticing reasons that will actually make you want to add more to your plate.

 

  1. They’re fun to eat! There are endless colors and textures that can add variety to your mealtimes, and there are so many ways to enjoy them such as, fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced!
  2. They’re convenient! Most fruits require zero effort, just throw a banana or apple in your bag and you’re good to go!
  3. Fruits and Veggies are naturally rich with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to run optimally. For example, just one orange has about 100mg of vitamin C which is 130% of your daily value. That makes these a perfect snack to throw in your bag when you’re headed to the airport to keep your immune system in tip-top shape!
  4. Fiber, fiber, fiber. Most American’s don’t get near the amount of fiber that they need and dietary fiber has the benefit of filling you up and keeping your digestive system running smoothly. A win-win!
  5. Added fruits and veggies may reduce disease risk. Getting your recommended fill may help reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  6. They’re low in calories! Now, calories aren’t everything, but it’s definitely a bonus when you get to fill up on a nutrient-packed and delicious snack that isn’t going to put too much caloric stress on your body!

 

When it comes to making sure you get enough fruits and veggies, don’t overwhelm yourself. You can make it easy by not specifically worrying about how many baby carrots are in a cup or how many grapes make 1 serving of fruit but instead focus on simply filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. This simple trick will help you reach your recommended amount without adding any anxiety to your eating habits!

Shauna Willetts