Harvest good nutrition with fresh fruits and veggies

Who has time to think about what they’re eating? Everyone -according to the National Cancer Institute, especially with the variety of delicious, fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetable choices available during this time of harvest.

As more families feel increased time constraints from jobs, family, and other commitments, a healthful diet is easy to overlook. In our hurried days, we don’t always make the best food choices. However, it is possible to meet the demands of our busy lives and still make healthful food choices.

Did you know that eating enough fruits and vegetables each day is important to help you maintain your health? The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests consuming enough fruits and vegetables, while staying within your caloric needs. The guidelines also recommend choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. The recommended daily amounts vary, depending on your age, sex, and physical activity level. Check out what your specific recommendations are at www.mypyramid.gov where you can get a daily food plan designed especially for you.

Along with tasting great, fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help reduce blood pressure, manage weight, and reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

So, have fruits and veggies on hand! It’s hard to choose grapes over cookies for a snack if they aren’t around. Studies show that households that have fruits and vegetables available for meals and snacks will eat more of them. Put a few extra fruits and vegetables into your shopping cart and your lunch sack this week.

Information adapted from Ohio State University fact Sheet HYG-5302-06, Fruits and Vegetables are Convenience for Busy People, by Jamie Foster and Susan Zies.