More Matters with Fruits and Vegetables

fruits and vegetables

September is Fruit and Vegetable Month so what better time to assimilate to a new school year than by packing healthy lunches and snacks for the whole family every day?

You’ve heard it all your life – eat your fruits and vegetables, but what you probably don’t hear as often is how much doing so can lower your risk of many chronic diseases and may even help protect against certain cancers. Nutrients in fruits and vegetables vary from item to item, so it’s better to eat a variety to optimize your nutrient intake. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of vitamins and fiber – you can never go wrong.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage you to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit. There are so many convenient ways to assure you can consume fruits and vegetables daily. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables come with just as many nutrients – even more, in some cases – as fresh produce.

  • Always have frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables in your freezer and pantry – they’ll come in handy when your favorite produce isn’t in season.
  • Choose the canned fruit packed in juice to guarantee less added sugar and calories.
  • Always select low-sodium or “no salt added” canned vegetables.
  • Top your oatmeal, yogurt, cereal or pancakes with fruit.
  • For a late-night dessert, dip your favorite fruit in yogurt or melted dark chocolate.
  • Avoid drinking your fruit as much as you can – juice often contains a lot of added sugar.
  • Cut up some carrots, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes and pair with your favorite hummus for a low-fat, nutrient-packed snack.
  • Don’t forget to have a few servings of dark green vegetables like leafy greens and broccoli, as well as orange ones including sweet potatoes, regularly.