Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that can help you maintain a healthy heart, memory function, and vision health, all while lowering your risk for some forms of cancer. And including at least five cups per day in your meals or snacks can help to control your weight by filling up on healthy calories.
Fruits and Vegetables. No prescription required.
Many older adults take multiple medications help to control blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet may help your medication work better or possibly reduce the amount you need.
- Colorful veggies contain potassium to assist with lowering your blood pressure.
- Fruits and veggies are also high in fiber and other vitamin and minerals which can lower cholesterol.
So try a variety of fruits and vegetables to gain all their benefits in staying healthy. You’re worth it!
Don’t tell your kids to eat their vegetables. Show them.
Parents who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily are teaching their children important behaviors that can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Help your family make fruits and vegetables part of every meal as well as part of smart snacking.
Living with diabetes? Make fruits and vegetables a habit for life.
If you have diabetes, you already know that checking your blood sugar levels regularly and eating right are important to your health. And your health care provider has probably told you that weight control will also help keep your diabetes in control.
Did you know that eating fruits and veggies may help?
- Adding a variety of vegetables and limited amounts of whole fruits or fruit juices to your daily meal plan increases fiber, which can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Fruits and veggies are low in calories and help satisfy hunger, including for snacks, which can help in weight control.
The new food pyramid can help
The new food pyramid, released in 2005 by the US Department of Agriculture, helps people make better choices about healthy eating. The new food pyramid emphasizes how a wide variety of fruits and vegetables work together to promote many health benefits.
The new food pyramid has tools to develop an eating plan that works for each person - young or old, male or female - with an individual approach to healthy eating and increasing physical activity.
Tasty ideas to increase your consumption of fruits and veggies
While many people believe that “healthy” eating is difficult or boring, changing eating habits can be both fun and simple. Start by making small changes that you can stick to. Here are some ways to get started:
- Have a piece of whole fruit or 4 ounces of 100% fruit or vegetable juice for breakfast daily
- Have a fruit or vegetable snack each day
- Stock up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables
- Keep cut-up fruits and vegetables and have them handy to go
- Save time and microwave vegetables for dinner
For more information and tips about eating fruits and vegetables, to go to www.5aday.org.
Other healthy eating tips
In addition to fruits and vegetables, there are other important guidelines for healthy eating that everyone should follow to stay healthy and to prevent or control chronic diseases.
- Reduce sodium (salt) intake.
- Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Select lean meats.
- Eat a variety of whole grain products daily.
- Reduce your sugar intake.
- Drink little or no sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit punches, or sports drinks.
- Eat moderate portions of food.
- Drink plenty of water.