Submitted by Carol Tomlinson, RN BS
Community Health Educator
Fruits & Veggies For Your Health
Harvest time in Upstate NY is one of the best times of the year! From June strawberries to fall pumpkins, we enjoy an abundance of homegrown fruits and vegetables. Farmer’s markets appear in Gloversville, Johnstown and Amsterdam, and little stands of fresh picked sweet corn and other veggies appear everywhere making getting a supply affordable.
You’ve heard it before – we are just not eating enough fruits and vegetables. U.S. Dietary Guidelines call for 3-5 servings of vegetables and 3-4 servings of fruit each day. But the fact is, less than 30% of us – that’s 7 out of 10 Americans – are failing to meet these basic guidelines. Think about it…we are actually being asked to eat more of something. How often do you hear that?
Why not start a new habit during this time of abundance. It is easy to get all the nutrients you need to feel good and look good if you just add fruits and veggies to every meal and snack. Here are some tips from the Hope Health Newsletter:
- Top French toast or waffles with berries or slices of banana or kiwi fruit.
- Fill an omelet or scrambled eggs with mushrooms, onions, zucchini and/or spinach.
- Add fresh fruit to yogurt or cereal.
- Replace half the meat in a sandwich with extra slices of tomato and leafy lettuce.
- Add fruit slices or grapes to any green salad.
- Make peanut butter sandwiches with slices of apple or pear instead of jelly.
- Top a baked potato with broccoli or homemade salsa instead of butter or sour cream.
- Add your favorite chopped fruits or veggies to tuna or chicken salad.
- Garnish a filet of sole with grapes, or add fresh pineapple to grilled chicken.
- Finely chop any type of vegetable then sauté and add to lasagna.
- Stuff meatloaf with celery, onions, carrots and lentils.
- Spray fresh veggies lightly with olive oil and roast them in a 400 degree oven or grill them on skewers.
- Grill stone fruit like peaches, nectarines and plums for dessert.
- Whole fruits are quick, prep-free, on-the-go snacks. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your counter for easy access.
- Cut up sticks of celery, carrots, sweet peppers, cucumbers and put them in small plastic bags in your refrigerator.
- Freeze grapes or bananas for a cool treat.
Eating your fruits and veggies need not be cumbersome. You can even be a “sneaky chef” and add twice as much to a favorite recipe. It is an easy way to get the nutrients you need. Plus, you can easily freeze the leftovers to enjoy during the winter and early spring.
Remember, a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables will help lower your risks for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer. Additionally, your appetite will be naturally controlled without sacrifice and with the added benefit of more energy!
For more information, talk to your health care provider or call HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can email us at email@example.com, visit our website at nlh.org, or visit our new wellness center at 2 Colonial Court in downtown Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.