Did you know that over 90% of American adults and children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables as recommended by the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans? With both childhood and adult obesity at an all time high, it is clear as a country we need to improve our eating habits.
September is Fruits and Veggies Month, so what better time to discuss the importance of these vital food groups. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and satiating fiber. They are also not calories dense, meaning a large, filling serving does not contain a lot of calories. This aids in weight loss.
Everyone knows they should eat them, but how much should we be consuming daily? Nutrition experts recommend 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily. Why you look at the USDA's MyPlate guide you can see that half of every meal you eat should consist of produce. It seems like a lot, but there are ways to make it easy to hit this number. Fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas do not require refrigeration and can be eaten on the go. Bell peppers, carrots and zucchini can be cut into slices for perfect snacks. Making smoothies and shakes with fruits and veggies is a good way to add variety. It is also a good idea to prepare veggies in bulk to save time. Steam a few days worth of broccoli at once and then bring it to lunch.
Check out some helpful tips below!