September is here and it’s that time again to celebrate National Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month. We have heard it before – fruits and vegetables are good for you – but something this good is worth repeating. Here are the top 10 reasons why we should all be eating MORE!
10. All Forms Matter
It doesn’t matter how you get them or where you get them, they all matter! Fruits and vegetables are available in a variety of forms: fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice. They are all nutritious so pick the best one for the right occasion.
9. Calories that Count
With obesity on the rise, calories “in” continue to trump calories “out.” The only way to bring this trend to a halt is to eat less and move more! Make the best use of your calories by selecting nutrient-dense foods (foods that contain plenty of good stuff and much less of the bad stuff)! Fruits and vegetables contain few calories, but tons of important vitamins and minerals.
Most Americans are falling short on fiber consumption, which is vital for heart and digestive health along with weight maintenance. Fill the gap with fruits and vegetables, which along with whole grains are the top sources of fiber.
The food we eat not only needs to taste good, but it also needs to provide our bodies with necessary nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Many fruits and vegetables are “high” and “good” sources of nutrients such as folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
6. Something for Everyone
With a wide variety of colors, textures, tastes and forms, there is a fruit and vegetable out there for everyone. So don’t just stop at a few favorites, expand your palate and improve your health with MORE!
5. Disease Prevention
Phytonutrients, which include well-known antioxidants, have shown to play a great role in our health and more importantly, disease prevention. Fruits and vegetables contain many of these nutrients, all with unique functions and benefits.
4. Quick & Easy
Thanks to our wonderful farmers and produce industry partners, preparing fruits and vegetables can meet any skill set or time clock! No matter which form you choose, there are varieties that require no peeling, chopping, slicing, or dicing and can be prepared in a snap!
Cost per nutrients, fruits and vegetables are a no-brainer when compared to the items we spend our food budget on that are expensive and provide little nutrition (sugar sweetened beverages, grain based desserts and salty snacks). Make a list, buy in-season, and keep non-perishable items stocked to help keep costs down.
2. Simply Sweet
Satisfy that sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruit. The sugar in fruit, known as fructose, is sweeter than table sugar and has a low glycemic index. Swap your favorite fruits for high-calorie, high-fat desserts to save calories. or add fruit to your existing desserts for extra nutrition.
No explanation needed here. Fruits and vegetables are just plain delicious!
Hopefully that was enough to convince you that every day at every meal and every snack, look for ways to eat MORE!
Meredith Mensinger, RD, LDN
Redner’s Warehouse Markets
Insider’s Viewpoint Archive