Get Your Fruits & Veggies
With the month of September designated “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters” month, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your family’s eating habits. Most people are unsure of how many fruits and vegetables they should consume each day or are confused by specific serving sizes. How do you know whether you and your family are getting enough fruits and veggies?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate graphic is designed to help people choose the proper portion sizes for each food group at mealtimes. According to MyPlate guidelines, you should fill up half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Making fruits and veggies the focal point of your plate will ensure that you and your family are eating healthier and consuming as many fruits and veggies as possible each day.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may help prevent chronic diseases. In addition:
- Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. None have cholesterol. It is important to remember that some sauces or seasonings may add any of the above.
- Many contain Vitamin C, which is important for growth, healing cuts and wounds and aiding iron absorption. Vitamin-C rich foods include kiwi, strawberries, oranges, sweet potatoes, tomato juice and cauliflower.
- Diets rich in potassium help to maintain healthy blood pressure, decrease bone loss and reduce the risk of kidney stones. To increase your potassium intake, try carrot juice, lima beans or white potatoes.
- Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. This is especially important for pregnant women (or those who wish to become pregnant), as it reduces the risk of many birth defects. Asparagus, cooked spinach and black-eyed peas are all good sources.
Want to help your employees get on the right track to wellness? Consider implementing a wellness program sponsored by your company. For more information on programs, contact your benefit consultant.
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.