September kicked off Fruits & Veggies - More Matters Month and also begins the season of bountiful harvest, where a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables are ripe for filling our dinner tables.
In addition to adding color and texture to a meal, fruits and veggies may help to reduce the risk of diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. Eating healthy can also help prevent obesity and high blood pressure. Rich with vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies can help you feel healthy and have more energy.
However, fewer than 1 in 4 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day and fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat the recommended amount of daily vegetables.
The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend filling half your plate with fruits and veggies at every eating occasion, including snacks. If this sounds challenging, just remember that all forms - fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice count toward your daily intake.
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you:
- Lower your risk for heart disease and some types of cancer
- Maintain or reach a healthy weight
- Keep your body strong and active
Here are some ideas to help you and your family fit more fruits and vegetables into your day:
- Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it.
- Cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time, so they're ready for quick, healthy snacks.
- Challenge your family to try a new veggie or fruit every week.
Resources to help you and your family find recipes:
Make it a goal this fall to try new, seasonal fruits and vegetables at every meal!