September is a month truly dedicated to raising awareness about health and wellness. The month of September is Fruits and Veggies - More Matters! Month, Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, National Yoga Awareness Month, and Whole Grains Month. That's a lot! Over the course of September we'll be sharing information with you that pertains to all of the above!
The Fruits and Veggie - More Matters campaign helps American's focus their attention on eating MORE fruits and vegetables. The campaign encourages people to:
- Add one more
- Try something new
- Educate yourself
- Teach the kids and
- Try a new recipe
1. Taste the Rainbow
Fruits and veggies add color, taste, texture and appeal to your plate! Make up a pretty plate full of colorful fruits and veggies and taste the rainbow!
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious in any form making them easy to pick up and eat on the go. Fresh, frozen, canned (in natural juice), and dried fruits and veggies are all great. When choosing juices, be sure they're 100% fruit or veggie juice. However, keep in mind that when juicing a fruit or vegetable, you're losing the fiber. Which takes us to #3!
Fiber in fruits and vegetables is probably best known for aiding in digestion and it keeps you full! Other health benefits of fiber include helping to maintain a healthy weight, lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels and helping to control blood sugar. All good things!
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories in their most natural form and other forms, too. As long as you're not frying them, they're good to go!
5. Reduce Risk of Disease
Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals that may help prevent or decrease risk of disease.
6. Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables help you feel healthy and energized. Fruits are sources of many essential nutritinents that are underconsumed, including potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. Vitamin C is important for grown and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Folic acid helps the body form red blood cells and is especially important for childbearing women.
There are hundreds of different kinds of fruits and vegetables that come in all different varieties, shapes and sizes. That means, there's always something new for you to try!
8. Low in Fat and Sodium
Almost all fruits and vegetables are low in fat and sodium. They are also naturally cholesterol free! You can just about eat unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies...just be cautious of the sugar with your fruits!
9. Fruits and Veggies are FUN to eat!
Some peel, some don't, some pop, some crunch, some are fuzzy...fruits and veggies are fun! What's even more fun? You can grow them in your own backyard!
10. Nutritious and Delicious!
Most importantly, fruits and vegetables are NUTRITIOUS and delicious! Don't agree with the delicious part? You haven't tried enough. Keep trying! Your health is worth it! And, if you need a little help, try some hot sauce on your veggies to give them some taste - just enough to help you get them down. Once you consistently keep veggies in your diet you'll really be able to see a difference in your energy and they way you feel.
More than 90% of adults and children don't consume the recommended (Dietary Guidelines for Americans & MyPlate nutrition guide) amount of fruits and vegetables. Make it a point this month to do better for yourself and your kids and make fruits and vegetables a priority on your plate!