The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) recently released a report that showed in an average day, only 6 percent of individuals consume the recommended amount of vegetables and 8 percent the recommended amount of fruit.
Eight of the states with the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption are also in the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates. William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity said;
“A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of several serious, chronic diseases. We need to continue our effort in making the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Fruits and vegetables are cancer fighters, heart protectors, and just plain delicious. And as Professor Joan Salge-Blake RD, always says, “They’ll fill you UP before they fill you OUT.”
photo credit: Elizabeth Jarrard
So how can you make the healthy choice and increase your fruit and vegetable consumption?
Did you know that here at BU you can also get a box of organic fruits and vegetables all winter long! For $20 you can pick up a box of organic produce weekly from December through April, with local products reappearing in April. The pickup location is the GSU near the link, but you have to sign up first by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some more tips from the Fruits & vegetables: More Matters Campaign.
- Pick up a banana or apple in the dining hall and eat it as a snack
- Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.
- Top toasted whole-grain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas.
- Add vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes to your egg or egg white omelet.
- Add some cooked dry beans to your salad. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, add chopped apples, pears, or raisins.
- Have soup. You can stick with the basics like tomato or vegetable soup or mix up some minestrone or veggie chili to cut winter’s chill. When possible, choose soups with less sodium.
- Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner, and swing by the salad bar in the dining hall
- Snack on vegetables like bell pepper strips and broccoli with hummus, which you can get at any CampCo location.
- Ants on a log isn’t just for kids- put some natural peanut butter on celeries and top with raisins
- Want a smoothie but don’t have a blender? Stop by Jamba Juice in the GSU and get the 16oz Protein-Berry Workout, or one of the All-Fruit Smoothies which are nutrient-packed and naturally sweet with no added sugar. Nonfat plain yogurt and soy milk give berries a balance of protein, calcium and vitamin D.
- Yogurt with fresh fruit is a great snack. Pick up a Sargent Choice parfaits for the perfect afternoon snack!
- Canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables are also good options. Look for fruit without added sugar or syrups and vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces.
What is your favorite fruit or vegetable? How do you make sure you are eating enough of these super-foods?