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September is Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters Month!

By: Rebecca Bennett, Clinical Dietician at MISH Hospital and Clinics' Kansas Institute of Medicine

 

Best of Hollywood 111September is Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters Month! What a great way to remind us of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. According to http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, about 90% of Americans do not eat enough fruits and veggies.

How many fruits and vegetables should I eat a day?

The dietary guidelines depend on gender and age, but the old rule of five a day is still a good rule. Another way to think about it is you should aim to make half your dinner plate full of fruits and vegetables.

What counts as a serving?

For vegetables: ½ cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw vegetables.

For fruit: 1 small fresh fruit (size of tennis ball), ½ cup canned fruit, ½ cup melon or berries, ½ cup fruit juice, or ¼ cup dried fruit.

Why do I want to eat that many fruits and vegetables?

Your mom told you the answer to this one -- because they are good for you! They are low in calories, high in fiber and full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that help fight disease. For example, the potassium found in sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, carrots, and prune juice help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Check out more benefits here:http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-are-phytochemicals

What are good fruits and veggies to try in the fall?

A ton of fruits and vegetables are in season in the fall. Some of the more common ones include acorn squash, Asian pears, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, guava, key limes, passion fruit, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, swiss chard and turnips.