May 21 is Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day! These power foods are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. It’s recommended that older adults eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables a day, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that only 1 in 10 adults are getting that amount.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day was created to encourage everyone to increase their intake and find new ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.
7 out of top 10 leading causes of death are chronic diseases. Your risk of illnesses like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers can decrease when a healthy diet is part of your life. Fruits and vegetables provide necessary vitamins that are important to your overall health and wellbeing, so be sure to celebrate this national holiday.
How to eat more fruits and vegetables
Stop the junk
Processed foods are easy and tasty snacks, but they provide very little nutritional value. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, opt for some grapes, dried fruit chips, or a veggie tray.
Alter your favorite dish
Love pasta? Add some vegetables to your sauce! You don’t have to change your diet completely, you just have to add nutrients where you can. Did you know that greens have almost no taste when blended with your smoothie? Add a cup of fresh spinach or kale to your next fruit smoothie!
Go vegetarian for a night
It’s easy to think that all entrees need to have meat, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Designate one night a week as “vegetarian night”, and find a new meatless dinner recipe.
Keep it in stock
Canned and frozen options are better than none at all! If you don’t like the prep involved with cooking fresh vegetables, check your freezer or cabinets instead. Keeping fruits and vegetables in stock in your kitchen will help you easily incorporate them into your diet.
Support your local farmers
Check out your local farmers market to get in-season fruits and vegetables. Not only are you improving your diet, you’re funding your local economy!