Written by: Olivia Ventra, CFW Health Fitness Specialist
As the weather heats up and stay at home orders are gradually lifted, we can begin to take advantage of all the summer months have to offer. This includes enjoying the tasty benefits of fresh fruits and veggies! Reopening plans permitting, local farmers’ markets and fresh fruit stands will soon be stocked with amazingly fresh and in season produce. Fruits and veggies are a vital part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. Because no single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients we need to be healthy, variety is just as important as quantity.
One huge benefit of eating a variety of vegetables and fruits is the number of micronutrients they provide our bodies. The micronutrient content plays an important role in reducing blood pressure and lowering risks of heart disease and stroke. They can help prevent certain types of cancer, as well as lower the risk of eye and digestive problems. Not to mention, they have a positive effect on maintaining healthy blood sugar. It is essential to consume a diet rich in both vegetables and fruits because the body cannot naturally produce all the nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, needed for optimal health. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits can promote weight loss and their low glycemic indexes prevent blood sugar spikes that increase hunger.
Creating a colorful plate at mealtime is a great way to visually check off your boxes for daily fruit and veggie consumption. Shoot for bold colors such as ripe red tomatoes, crisp orange bell peppers, smooth yellow squash, deep green kale, tart blueberries, juicy plums, and violet eggplants for example. Not only will eating for color make meals visually appealing, but it will also ensure that your body is getting the proper variety of beneficial nutrients. Consuming a balanced diet and physical activity go hand-in-hand when creating a healthy lifestyle!
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