Have trouble getting in all of those fruits and vegetables daily?
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP PEOPLE ADD MORE TO THEIR DIET:
▪ Double the veggies: When making a recipe that calls for a certain amount of fruits and veggies, double the amount you would normally add to your recipe;
▪ Be sneaky: Add different vegetables into sauces such as mushrooms, eggplants, onion, peppers, or squash. Instead of mashed potatoes try mashed cauliflower. Even mixing vegetables into mashed potatoes or mac and cheese can help add veggies to your diet;
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▪ Feature a fresh new vegetable each week: Experiment with a new seasonal vegetable or fruit each week. Support your local farmers. Get the whole family involved;
▪ Healthy snacks: A healthy snack such as a fruit of vegetable can help curb hunger throughout the day and can also give you great boost of energy and nutrition; and
▪ Recreate the chip: Fruits and vegetables make fabulous chips. Kale or greens are great options, as well as bananas. There are many recipes out there on different baked vegetables to try. Spice it up and have fun!
WHY ARE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IMPORTANT?
▪ Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day can reduce the risk of chronic diseases;
▪ Vegetables are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Folate helps the body form red blood cells. It is especially important for women of childbearing age to consume folate-rich foods such as bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach to prevent neutral-tube defects in babies;
▪ Fiber in fruits helps to protect against heart disease and lower cholesterol;
▪ Vitamin C in foods like citrus and strawberries help with wound healing and keeps gums and teeth healthy;
▪ Eating produce can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and protect against various forms of cancer;
▪ Eating fruits and vegetables can make weight management easier. Most produce is low in calories compared to other foods. Fruits and vegetables work as excellent substitutes in different recipes. For example, use fresh applesauce instead of oil in muffins or cookies. Add sautéed vegetables to an omelet to make it more filling without a lot of calories; and
▪ Fruits and vegetables reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
For more information on purchasing, storage, meal planning and recipes go to www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/.