Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Maximize the Benefit of Eating Fruits & Vegetables

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Maximize the Benefit of Eating Fruits & Vegetables. Layne Lieberman-Liebelson, King Kullen Grocery Company. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

A daily diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many common diseases so every step taken towards eating more helps your family be at its best. To maximize the benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, eat your colors! Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors provides a broad range of nutrients.

Help Fight Common Diseases

Heart Disease and Stroke
Studies show that those who eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day have a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke compared with those who eat less than 3 servings per day.

Blood Pressure
Studies show that those who eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods and low in saturated and total fat can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Digestive Health
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. A high fiber diet helps prevent constipation and maintains good flora in the colon.

Eye Health
Studies show eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration in older Americans. The old wives tale that eating carrots and other vitamin A rich foods can help you see in the dark is true!

Think Variety, Think Color

Outside Color* Nutrients Examples
Red Fiber, minerals, vitamins A and C Tomatoes, peppers, cherries, red grapefruit
Orange Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, iron, zinc Carrots, oranges, peaches, yams
Yellow Vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, minerals Bananas, pears, pineapple, corn
Green Fiber, potassium, vitamin A, B vitamins Broccoli, cabbage, green beans, kale
Blue/Purple Vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants Blueberries, eggplant, beets, acai

*The outside color of the fruit or vegetable can be a good indicator of its nutrient content.

Recipe

Pear Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups whole-grain pastry flour, BOB’S RED MILL
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, EGGLAND’s BEST
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt, STONYFIELD FARM
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ -cup raw sugar, HAIN
  • 2 ripe medium organic pears -peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks, STEMILT
  • Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, egg, and oil until smooth. Whisk in the yogurt and the vanilla. Finally, stir in the cubed pears. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until blended. Scrape into the baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake springs to the touch, shrinks from the sides, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This cake will not be too dark on the top, so if you like more color, change oven setting to BROIL and bake for another 40 seconds, not more. Let cool for 20-30 minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve! Serves 12.

Per serving: 163 calories, 4 g fat (only 0.6 g saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g protein, 165 mg sodium.

Layne Lieberman-Liebelson, RD, MS, CDN
Nutrition Consultant
King Kullen Grocery Company

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