|“Eat your spinach!”
“Don’t trade your banana at lunch!”
“Yes, you have to clean your plate. Yes, that includes the Brussels sprouts!”
Most of us heard these messages – or something similar – from our parents when we were kids. Fruits and veggies may not always have been the most tantalizing foods back then (and they still may not be now), but there is no denying that we need lots of them in our diet1.
September is Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, an annual celebration that puts the focus not just on eating more fruits and veggies but also on how they can lower our risk2 of:
Did you know that…
…a low-fat plant based diet can control and/or reverse3Type 2 diabetes?
…plants are loaded with protein3?
…veggies and fruits are packed4 with calcium, iron, and vitamin D, among other nutrients?
…leafy greens5 help protect our tissues against free-radical damage, help keep our nerves, brain, and spinal cord healthy,
and help bone marrow make new red blood cells?
…fruits and veggies6 are considered nutrient-dense and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages increased consumption of these plant-based foods?
According to the USDA’s Choose My Plate7 program, half your plate of each meal should be fruits and veggies. That may seem like a lot, especially when your diet doesn’t currently meet that recommendation, but here are some tips to help you on your journey to healthier eating:
Looking for a farmers’ market near you for fresh fruits and veggies? Click here8.
Know someone who could use help eating healthy? Click here9 for tips on how to start the conversation:
September is also National Childhood Obesity Month. Click here10 for information on how fruits and veggies can help support healthy growth in children. Click here11 for information on the Salad Bars to Schools project.
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1: “Everything You Eat and Drink Matters.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety. United States Department of Agriculture.
2: “September: Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month.” https://healthfinder.gov/nho/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
3: “What the Health: Facts.” http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/facts/.
4: “Power Sources.” http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-sources. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
5: “Why Eat Dark, Leafy Greens?” http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers16/. Dr. Michael Kapler.
6: “More Plants on the Plate.” http://nutritionstudies.org/plants-plate/. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
7: “MyPlate.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. United States Department of Agriculture.
8: “Local Food Directories: National Farmers Market Directory.” https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets. United States Department of Agriculture.
9: “Healthy Eating: Conversation Starters.” https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity/nutrition/healthy-eating-conversation-starters. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
10: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
11: “Salads Bars to Schools.” http://www.saladbars2schools.org/.