Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eat More…Fruits and Veggies

Do you eat 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies every day?  While most people like fruits and veggies, most fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings per day. It’s still a worthwhile goal, though, as research shows powerful benefits of diets high in fruits and veggies.  Some of the potential benefits include:
·         Decreased risk of certain types of cancer
·         Decreased risk of heart disease
·         Decreased calorie intake with improved weight control
·         Improved immunity
·         Improved vision health
·         Healthier aging

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytonutrients.  These benefits from diets high in fruits and veggies cannot be achieved simply by taking supplements. Tips to increase fruits and veggies in your diet include:

  • Add fresh berries or bananas to your morning cereal or yogurt
  • Keep dried fruit in your car or desk for a quick sweet snack
  • Mix fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and skim or soy milk for a refreshing fruit smoothie
  • Mix ¼ cup 100% fruit juice with sparkling water for a cool fruit spritzer
  • Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with canned (in juice or water) or frozen (without added sugar) fruit for variety and when out of fresh
  • Grow a vegetable garden. There’s nothing like a plentiful supply of fresh veggies in season.
  • Shop regularly at Farmer’s Markets in your area for flavorful fresh veggies and fruit. 
  • Try vegetable toppings on your pizza. 
  • Eat salad at least once a day.
  • Stock your pantry and freezer with canned (without added salt) and frozen (without added sauces or salt) veggies for variety and when out of fresh
  • Make half your plate veggies and fruit

The Produce for Better Heath Foundation promotes eating at least 5 – 9 servings per day of fruits and vegetables through their campaign, “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters.”  For more helpful information, fun facts, recipes and a guide to what is “in season,” visit their website:

This month, for National Nutrition Month, eating more fruits and veggies in the WMHS cafeteria makes you eligible to win healthy gift baskets, so when you eat in the WMHS cafeteria in March, choose fruits or veggies, fill out a ticket at the cash register and drop in the box to be eligible to win. 

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