¿Did you know June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month?
Celebrate by piling more of these delicious foods onto your plate!
Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy, yet most people do not eat enough.
¿How much should you be eating?
The average person needs at least 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day. A simple way to monitor intake is to always fill half of your plate with frutas and verduras, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate.
Practicing Meatless Monday is one way to get more plant foods into your routine. Follow these easy tips to sneak in extra servings every day:
4 Tips to Eat More Fruits and Veggies Every Day
- Snack on raw fruits and veggies: Grab whole bananas, apples, pears, and grapes for a delicious grab-and-go snack option, or munch on chopped fruits and veggies dipped in hummus or protein-packed peanut butter. Read more of my healthy snack ideas in Nutrition: 7 Ways to Snack Smart.
- Add fresh fruits and veggies to the dishes you already enjoy: I throw a handful of berries into my cereal or oatmeal to add sabor and nutrients, always prepare my tacos with guacamole and diced onions and tomatoes, and feature at least 3 veggies on any sammie, as I share in Meatless Monday: Fresh Vegetable and Hummus Sandwich Recipe. Cook onions and peppers into your rice, lentils, and beans by adding them while water is being absorbed. Small changes add up!
- Drink your fruits and veggies: Blend fruit into water for a sweet agua de fruta as I suggest in Nutrition: 5 Easy Ways to Add More Water to you Diet or sip on a fruit and veggie green smoothie which I recommend in Nutrition: ¡Go Green for your Health!.
- Eat fruit for dessert: Make a fresh fruit salad or bake apples or pears with cinnamon. ¿Need more options to satisfy that sweet tooth? Work through these 15 Fruit for Dessert Recipes.
This June, choose fresh fruits and vegetables by shopping for local, seasonal foods at a farmers' market or growing your own home vegetable garden. Not only will you love the taste of fresh-picked produce, eating foods grown in your area supports local businesses and can help the environment by reducing fossil fuels needed to refrigerate and transport food long distances.
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is not only easy and delicious, it can reduce your risk of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's and while helping you maintain a healthy weight and feel energetic.
Once you experience the sabor, you will soon crave and eat more fresh fruits and veggies throughout the day. Your body and health will thank you for it.
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
What are your favorite ways to eat fresh fruits and vegetables?