Fitness Facts: With fruits and veggies, More Matters
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Join the More Matters revolution! Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies.
Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends 2½ cups daily.
The fruits and veggies with the most color (dark green, red, yellow and orange) have the most nutrients and cancer-fighting ingredients. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet daily can significantly improve your overall health. They are low-calorie, too!
According to the More Matters initiative, the top 10 reasons to eat more fruits and veggies are:
- Fruits and vegetables are delicious.
- They’re fun to eat, too!
- Quick and natural snack.
- There is an infinite variety: You’re sure to find at least a few that satisfy your taste buds.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
- Eating plenty of them may help reduce the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.
- They are naturally low in calories, so they fit into any diet regimen.
- They are high in fiber, which helps you fill up, lowers your overall net carb intake and may help reduce cholesterol.
- Convenient: Grab them on the run in various forms — fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
- They add color, texture and appeal to your plate.
Savor a frozen treat made from 100 percent juice or put a half cup of melon slices, peaches or another favorite fruit on a toasted whole-grain waffle and you’ve added even more healthy fruits to your day. A splash of maple syrup can add extra flavor.
A few other tips from the American Cancer Society:
- At each meal, fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Enjoy a half cup (4 ounces) of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice once or twice a day. Mix with club soda or unsweetened seltzer water if you like fizz.
- Layer lettuce, tomatoes, beans, onions and other vegetables on sandwiches and wraps.
- Add tomato sauce and extra vegetables to pastas and vegetable soups.
- Choose a vegetarian dish when eating out.
- Challenge yourself to try new vegetables from the produce aisle, frozen foods section or your local farmers’ market.
- Keep dried fruits and vegetable juice boxes in your desk drawer and glove compartment. (But watch the sugar content!)
- Keep a bowl full of fresh veggies and fruits on your kitchen counter for quick snacking.
- If you’re short on time, look for pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables, such as baby carrots and broccoli florets, at the grocery store.
More does Matter! For further suggestions on this topic and for recipe suggestions, go to https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/