- By Julie Stefanski
- In September
- September 26, 2017
7 Ways to Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
By Jennifer Lynn-Pullman MA, RDN, CSOWM, LDN
I have been a dietitian for a long time. In 17 years of practicing the common issue many clients have is that they simply do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Back in 1991 the Five a Day program was launched. The program is a public-private partnership of the National Cancer Institute, the Produce for Better Health Foundation, USDA, CDC, the American Cancer Society and other national health organizations. The aim of the program is to encourage the public to consume at least 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables every day. After 26 years we are still trying to encourage the public to reach 5 a day!
I have to admit that I even struggle to eat enough fruits and veggies. Like most of my clients I really need to think about how to include plants into my meal planning and daily life. Our population is very protein centered, so meals are built around meats not plants.
So why eat more fruit and veggies? Fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. Plants are also low in fat and calories. Eating more fruit and vegetables can help you lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improve blood sugar levels.
7 Ways To Eat More Fruit and Veggies.
1: Add fruit or vegetables to your breakfast: Add fruit to oatmeal or yogurt. This is a great way to use frozen fruit. You can also add your favorite veggies to eggs.
2: Stock your freezer with frozen veggies and fruit so you always have something on hand.
3: Add extra vegetables to soups.
4: Stir fry dishes are great ways to add lots of vegetables.
5: Smoothies: you can use fruit and vegetables to make a smoothie that you can have as a meal or snack.
6: Add vegetables to sandwiches: lettuce, tomato, cucumbers are great picks.
7: Add fruit to salads: apples, grapes, and mandarin oranges are great additions.
I hear many complaints that fruit and vegetables are too expensive. If you choose to purchase produce based on seasons you will not only be purchasing these foods at their peak of taste, but you will be able to purchase them at a lower cost. To find out what is “In Season” in your area check out Seasonal Food Guide. I downloaded their app onto my phone, so I have the seasonal produce list right at my fingertips!
Jennifer Lynn-Pullman MA, RDN, CSOWM, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management from Philadelphia. She is the creator of two blogs: Nourished Simply and Bariatric Bits. In addition to her online work Jen is the Bariatric Dietitian for the Weight Loss Surgery Program at Einstein Health Care Network Elkins Park and an online health coach for VIDA Health. Jennifer also shares her nutrition expertise with nursing students as an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Nursing at Holy Family University.