Fitness Facts: With fruits and veggies, More Matters

Connie Colbert

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/

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