A Guideline To Fruit and Veggie Nutrition

We all like to feel our best, right?  It’s important for us to eat foods that are rich in nutrients and fruit and vegetables are wonderful sources for specific nutrients your body needs to help it function at its best.  Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has pulled together a list of these nutrients and a list of the fruits and/or veggies that carry the label of “high” or “good” sources for them.

  • Calcium: Essential for healthy bones and teeth.  It is also needed for the normal functioning of muscles, nerves, and some glands.
  • Fiber: Diets rich in fiber have been shown to have a number of benefits including decreased risk of coronary disease.
  • Folate: Diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.
  • Iron: Needed for healthy blood and normal functioning of all cells.
  • Magnesium: Necessary for healthy bones and involved with more than 300 enzymes in your body.  Inadequate levels may result in muscle cramps and high blood pressure.
  • Potassium: Diets rich in potassium may help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Sodium: Needed for normal cell function, although most diets contain too much sodium, which is associated with high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin A: Keeps your eyes and skin healthy and protects against infections.
  • Vitamin C: Helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

The best way to ensure you’re eating a well balanced diet that is packed with all the healthy nutrients your body requires is by following the USDA MyPlate concept.  You’ll fill half your plate with fruit and veggies, grains and protein each represent a quarter and dairy represents a circle outside the plate.
Courtesy of USDA
Fruits & Veggies–More Matters makes it even easier with their featured healthy plates–a collection of dishes based on the MyPlate concept.  Here you’ll find a wide variety of entrees, snacks, breakfast ideas, and side dishes.  Get the recipe, nutrition info, cost analysis, and a shopping list for each plate.  I’m featuring a Salmon, Strawberry, and Avocado Rice Bowl, which comes in at 590 calories a serving.  It’s a great one dish meal that has a combination of textures, colors, and flavors.  You’ll use brown rice, grilled salmon, sliced avocado, sliced strawberries, steamed, fresh spinach, sliced green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.  A sweet/savory teriyaki sauce made with garlic, soy sauce, honey, water, and ground ginger is drizzled on top.
Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters
I’m back next Monday with some delicious asparagus recipes for this spring.
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