Happy National Fruit and Vegetable Month! What better time of year to recognize the importance of these food groups than in the summer when so many of these tasty foods are “in season”.  However, these foods need to be a part of daily intake everyday, no matter the season. Below are just some of the reasons why incorporating fruits and veggies into your meals and snacks is oh so important.

Colorful Plate

Can you imagine walking into a room and everything was the same shade of blue? Imagine a blue ceiling, blue walls, blue bedspread, blue lamp…you get the picture. What a boring space to live in! Our plate can start to look the same way if there are no fruits or vegetables on it to add a pop of color and make it a little more exciting.  We should prepare meals and snacks that are not only nutritious but are appealing to the eye as well.  Eating was designed to be an enjoyable activity so have a little fun with it!

Health & Well-Being

Fruits and vegetables provide our body with many of the essential nutrients it requires everyday. Vitamins and minerals are just some of these nutrients and can be found all throughout these food groups. Some vitamins even work as antioxidants, helping our body to fight free radicals that could be of harm to us.  This, in turn, could help prevent the development of many age-related diseases and cancers. Fiber is another essential nutrient that is found in most fruits and vegetables and aids in digestion, blood sugar regulation, and cholesterol management.

Tasty Dish

Not only are fruits and veggies packed with nutrients but they’re loaded with flavor too! Whether raw, cooked, or in juice form, these foods are the perfect compliments to any main dish. Try different preparation methods and food combinations to keep from getting burnt-out on any one fruit or vegetable.

Variety – No Boredom Allowed!

With so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables, there’s always something new to try. Head out to a farmer’s market or local supermarket and explore all the different varieties of fruits and veggies and be inspired! Challenge yourself to alter your routine and add a new food at least once a week. Don’t be complacent in your food choices – experience something new!

~Ashlee Overstreet, Director of Dietetic Services