5 Reasons to Love Fresh Fruits and Veggies
June is National Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month─a great time to consider whether or not you're
including enough fresh produce on your daily menu. As you probably know, most Americans fail
to do so. Here are some easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your life, and how you’ll
Launch your day
Start your day on a healthy note with a high-quality whey protein shake─including fresh fruit!
When making your shake, add fresh and/or frozen berries for a blast of delicious antioxidant
protection. Apples and pears work too! Go organic, though, especially with apples, peaches,
and berries, which rank among the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” for dangerous
Every dinner can include a salad, even simply dressed organic greens! The more veggies you
incorporate, the more health-promoting nutrients you obtain. Jazz up sandwiches with sliced
apple, cucumber, tomato, and fresh or roasted peppers. When grilling, add peaches, plums and
pineapple for a beautiful complement to seafood, meat and poultry. As for dessert, think dark
chocolate-dipped strawberries or non-fat frozen yogurt over fresh peaches.
Along with tomatoes, incorporate marinara and pizza sauces whenever possible, as they
contain rich levels of lycopene, which you absorb best when tomatoes are cooked with healthy
fats like olive oil. Most varieties of salsa deliver this valuable carotenoid too, as do sun-dried
tomatoes. Why not dine well and decrease risk of prostate cancer─among other forms of the
disease─while you’re at it?
Healthy “fast food”
Can food be convenient and healthy too? Given the busy lives many of us lead, nutritious
eating should be simple, at least until it becomes second nature. Stock-up on basics like apples,
oranges, spinach, and broccoli which require little preparation. Shop your local farmer’s market
for fresh, organic produce in season. Eat a rainbow, boost your wellness!
Whittle your waistline
Why is fresh produce such a great weight loss tool? Because fruits and veggies are fiber-rich
and water-dense, filling you up for minimal calories. Additionally, your appestat─the area in the
brain believed to regulate appetite and food intake─is satisfied more quickly when your nutrient
intake is high. That beats gorging on thousands of empty calories without feeling full, due to lack
of fiber and nutrients.
It’s simple really. Make fresh produce a daily “go-to,” always filling half your plate, and you’ll
benefit tremendously─on many levels!