Fruits & Veggies Really Do Matter

A variety of delicious culinary products.September is “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month,” and according to the site, 90% of us do not eat the daily recommended amount of either. We know how important they are for everything from nutrition to fiber to digestive health, yet most of us just don’t eat enough of them.

Fruits and veggies not only pack a serious nutritional punch, but add visual interest and color to our plates, are low in calories, may reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure, are easy to grab as a snack, and are fun to eat! So here are a few tips to help us get them into our diets:

First, remember the ‘half rule;’ fill your plate half full of fruits and vegetables. This even goes for snacks. Remember also, that all forms (frozen, dried, fresh, 100% juice), count towards the recommended daily serving. So when shopping, don’t just think about fruits when you’re in the produce dept. Dried fruits are great and easy snacks, and 100% juices are always a better choice than sodas.

Try these specific ways to add them into your diet:

  • Eat strawberries with breakfast; 8 whole strawberries = 1 cup
  • Add a quarter cup raisins to oatmeal; ¼ c dried = ½ c fresh
  • At snack time, 1 banana = ½ cup, and 100% apple/orange juice instead of soda
  • Add frozen or canned veggies to casseroles
  • Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies…any fruits or berries
  • ½ cup of fat, in many recipes, can be replaced with applesauce
  • Add beans to salads and veggie soup
  • Add dried fruit to grain side dishes such as rice or couscous
  • Stir fry and pasta dishes (my favorites): Anything goes in stir fry, and pretty much anything goes in Alfredo dishes and primaveras

Fruits and veggies are so good for us; we should really start reaching for the carrot sticks and dried cranberries instead of the candy bars, don’t you think?

Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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