#HealthyHabits August: Eat Your Fruits & Veggies!
They say a habit takes 21 days to make and only 3 days to break. We believe that healthy habits can help to create an overall lifestyle that can aid in a long and happy life. We aren't talking about momentous tasks, but simple things you can do to be the healthiest version of yourself. Each month, we will offer a different healthy habit for you to challenge yourself to stick with.
August's Healthy Habit: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
Seems like a relatively simple concept, right? We thought so too, but a recent CDC study finds that only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and veggies a day. Only 12% meet the daily fruit recommendation of two servings and 9% of the vegetable recommendation of 3 servings.
Why is it so important to eat fruits and vegetables? It's no secret that fruits and veggies are good for you but according to the United States Department of Agriculture, here's why they are good for you:
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
- Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
- Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
- Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
If you find it a challenge to fit in the 5 recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies, here are some helpful tips keep you on track!
- To get the recommended servings a day, start eating them early! You can add fruit into your breakfast routine such as having fruit in your cereal or with your yogurt
- Enjoy a smoothie by blending low fat yogurt or almond milk with fresh or frozen fruits. Pro Tip: Sneak some veggies in there too! The sweetness of the fruit will mask the taste of the veggies (carrots, spinach and kale work well in smoothies)
- Stock you freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir fry for a quick and easy side dish
- Keep cut vegetables handy for healthy snacks on the go
- Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips, and use your favorite healthy dressing or hummus as a dip
- Make fruit your dessert!