We have repeatedly heard how we should eat more fruits and vegetables for optimum health and to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately although it sounds simple, research data shows the majority of people simply do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. Instead they continue to eat only two servings of fruits and vegetables per day even though they should consume a minimum of five. Hopefully this article will inspire you with numerous ways to include more fruits and vegetables into your pattern of eating every day.
First, positive belief goes a long way. Begin your day optimistic, thinking about how you can include fruits and vegetables in your eating habits. Develop a positive expectation this is easy to do because canned, dried, fresh, frozen, juiced, and liquidized fruits and vegetables all count towards the minimum goal of five.
Starting with breakfast, add in bell peppers, mushrooms, salsa, and/or spinach into eggs for an omelet or to be wrapped up in pita bread or a tortilla. Happily top off your bagel with your favorite berries or a slice of tomato. Don’t forget to consume fruit like apples, applesauce, grapefruit, oranges, and/or juice. Complement your cereal, granola, pancakes, toast, waffles, or yogurt with bananas, blueberries, or strawberries.
Next, instead of single servings, eagerly think of combinations of two different vegetables to serve for lunch and dinner. Are you content with peas and carrots, or corn and beans? Remember to complete your sandwich with cucumber, lettuce, onion, and/or tomatoes. Enthusiastically replace white potatoes with nutritious sweet potatoes. Make sure to keep bags of your favorite frozen fruits and vegetables, which can be heated or thawed in minutes.
Instead of snacking on chips or pretzels throughout the day reach for nutritious raw vegetables. Balance your nutritional regime with baby carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber spears, or red pepper strips dipped in hummus or salad dressing for satisfying crunchy alternatives. Munch on grapes or raisins for a change. Consider a banana or fruit snack. Nibbling on dried fruits like apricots, cherries, cranberries, dates, and figs, will complement any day.
Make sure you keep fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible. When you open your refrigerator door, have a cleaned prepared portions of your most consumed fresh produce at eye-level. Have available on your kitchen countertop or table a bowl of your family’s preferred fresh fruit.
Don’t neglect leftover vegetables to grow moldy in the back of the refrigerator. Passionately heat them together in a pan to make vegetable soup broth. When you have more time, strategize to use these when you make and freeze casseroles, lasagnas, primavera, soups, and/or stews for use on the days when you are pressed for time.
Banish the thought this can be too time consuming by tossing together several fruits for a fruit platter. To complete your eating habits mix apples, coconut, bananas, blueberries, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, and/or mangos with a little orange juice for a fruit salad. Appreciate how well some fruits freeze. Wash off your fresh bananas, blueberries, grapes, or strawberries, and toss them into a freezer bag or container to be popped into the freezer. To balance your fruit intake, once frozen you can add them to drinks, ice cream, pudding, smoothies, yogurt, or just eat them plain as refreshments.
When dining out at restaurants, start with a salad. Substitute vegetables for the fries, or order stir-fried vegetables. When you go to the buffet, first head for the fresh fruits and vegetables before moving on to other selections.
Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to harmonize your nutritional intake with shakes and smoothies. With or without ice, ice cream, yogurt, kefir, banana, blueberries, oranges, papaya, pineapples, strawberries, or more, spiced with or without cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mint, or more. Put in some of your frozen fruit for savored tang. Gratefully throw your favorite combination of fruit, juice, spices, or more in a blender, select liquidize, and pour into your favorite glass or mug for a satisfying meal on the go.
In fact in March 2007, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) became so concerned about increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables by all Americans they launched a public private partnership, the National Fruit & Vegetable Program. The partnership maintains Fruit & Veggies – More Matters encouraging us to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. This website is loaded with all types of information and recipes with the goal to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. I particularly enjoy their pictures of what a daily serving of 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables actually looks like. The CDC in partnership with Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) maintains
www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org with the goal of encouraging families to achieve increased daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. They even have an interactive children’s area www.foodchamps.org for learning with age appropriate materials, games, and recipes.
Hopefully you are now empowered with the knowledge of the unlimited choices available so you have the freedom to balance your food intake with more fruits and vegetables every day. In summary, when you start your day thinking positive about how you can add fruits and vegetables into your pattern of eating, you will appreciate finding them abundantly available everywhere in your life. Always remember to include a full serving of love, mixed well with joy and laughter in your life.