Health Benefits of Vegetables & Fruit

February 16, 2016
root vegetables
The first day of nutrition week (March 1st) and the Dining Commons will be focusing on fruits and vegetables. We have the Berry Man tabling during lunch at Carrillo! And they will be offering wonderful fresh fruit and vegetable samples. In addition to the vendor tabling, Portola or DLG will be offering exotic fruit tasting which includes baby kiwi, cape gooseberries, and kumquats. The baby kiwi is one of my favorites; you eat it with the skin on. 
I decided to dedicate an entire day to featuring the fruit and vegetable, because of all the wonderful health benefits. People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases like heart attack and stroke. 
So let’s focus on the vegetable first. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol, and most have good sources of nutrients. Including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C. Incorporating vegetables into your diet can be easy. If you enjoy snacking- make yourself a veggie pack. Include carrots, snap peas, small peppers, and tomatoes. Dip them in a homemade or store bought hummus. Another way to incorporate veggies into your diet is by making veggie soup. One of my all-time favorite was to eat broccoli is to make a broccoli soup. I steam a head of broccoli and then in my blender- I blend the steamed broccoli with nonfat milk, a little salt, and pepper. It actually takes like a rich, creamy soup. But instead, it is just broccoli and nonfat milk. Win win!
Let’s move our attention to fruit. Just like the vegetable fruit is naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Plus none have cholesterol. Fruits are rich in many essential nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate. A diet rich in fruit can also help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Incorporating fruit is easy, enjoy them fresh, frozen, dried or even canned. I enjoy fruit with my breakfast. I top blueberries, raspberries or blackberries on top of my oatmeal.  And at lunch, instead of having dessert at lunch I enjoy a piece a sweet fruit!
It is easy to make fruits and vegetables a part of your daily diet. Try to make mindful decisions to incorporate them! 

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