The Wellness Corner … by Judith Wallace, RN, FCN
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are readily available at supermarkets, farm markets, co-op programs and even roadside stands.
Aside from their availability, there are many health reasons to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Research from Harvard shows that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep your appetite in check.
Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Try dark leafy greens; brightly colored red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits; and cooked tomatoes.
Maybe you're one of those folks who find veggies to be dull and boring. There's hope for you! The size of the veggie and the method of preparation can make all the difference. Baby vegetables are often more flavorful and less bitter. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of herbs and roast them. You'll be amazed at the difference. Or skip the cooking...dip raw baby veggies in hummus. They are yummy and good for you.
Eat more vegetables and fruits each day - that means 5-9 servings!
1. Keep fruit where you can see it. That way you'll be more likely to eat it.
2. Explore the produce aisle and choose something new each time you shop. Variety is the key to a healthy diet.
3. Don't cook veggies to mush; they'll lose nutritional value and taste. Steam, roast or grill them...or eat them raw.
4. Skip the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydrates.
5. Make it a meal. Try cooking new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads and stir fries are two ideas for getting tasty vegetables on your plate.
6. Store fruits and vegetables separately...they don't like one another. Fruits will cause broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, carrots and squash to turn color and get limp.
Eat your fruits and vegetables.
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