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Plant Forward - Increasing Fruits and Vegetables

03-01-2016

According to the CDC, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers. Eating the suggested number of fruits and vegetables is also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight.

Fitting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables into your diet can sometimes feel like a daunting task. The USDA recommends that the average adult consume approximately 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but this could differ depending on age, weight, and calorie intake. You can visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ to learn more about what’s right for you.

To help you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, we’ve come up with some helpful tips:

Stock up on frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. – To cut down on costs, look for ‘Buy 1, Get 1’ specials at your local grocery store. Frozen or canned fruit can easily be added to a smoothie or yogurt, and frozen or canned vegetables can be added to spaghetti, soups, or used as pizza toppings.

Try Meatless Monday. – Commit to making one vegetarian meal per week. This will help to increase your vegetable intake, and will cut down on your intake of saturated fats.

Shop seasonally. – Buying fruits and vegetables when they are in season ensures that you get the best quality for the best price—and the best flavor! Try making your own 100% vegetable juice as another way to get your suggested daily servings.

Get creative in the kitchen. – Try cooking fruits and vegetables in new ways, like adding vegetables to an omelet, or grilling fruit at your next backyard BBQ.

Keep it simple. – It doesn’t get any easier than throwing an apple or banana in your bag for an afternoon snack. Remember, it doesn’t have to be difficult to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Looking for more tips on increasing your daily servings of fruits and vegetables? Check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ list of 20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables.

Categories: Healthy Eating