Did you know there are at least four great reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables?
1. It is easy to do.
2. Almost all are low in calories and fat.
3. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals and provide fiber.
4. They may hekp reduce cancer risk. Here are some actions to get you started and keep you going. Try two or three actions now and try more later.
- Buy many kinds of fruits and vegetables when you shop, so you have plenty of choices, and you don't run out. Buy frozen, dried, and canned as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- First, use the fruits and vegetables that go bad easily (peaches, asparagus). Save hardier varieties (apples, acorn squash) or frozen and canned types for later in the week.
- Use the salad bar to buy cut-up fruits/vegetables if you're in a hurry.
- Keep a fruit bowl, small packs of applesauce, raisins or other dried fruit on the kitchen counter, table, or in the office.
- Pack a piece of fruit or some cut-up vegetables in your briefcase or backpack; carry moist towlettes for easy cleanup.
- Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables on the top shelf of the refrigerator.
- Add fruit to breakfast by drinking 6 oz of 100 percent fruit juice or by having fruit on cereal.
- Add fruits and vegetables to lunch by having them in soup, salad, or cut-up raw.
- Add fruits and vegetables to dinner by microwaving or steaming vegetables and having a special fruit desert.
- Increase portions when you serve vegetables and fruits. Season them the low-fat way with herbs, spices, and lemon juice. If sauce is used, choose a nonfat or low-fat sauce.
- Choose fruit for dessert. For a special dessert, try a fruit parfait with low-fat yogurt or sherbet topped with berries.
- Add extra varieties of vegetables when you prepare soups, sauces, and casseroles (for example, grate carrot and zucchini into spaghetti sauce.
These ideas and tips should get you started and keep you going with beans:
- Once a week or more, try a low-fat meatless meal or main dish that features beans (tacos or burritos stuffed with pinto beans; chili with kidney beans; black beans over rice).
- Try kidney beans or black-eyed peas. It's a fast and easy way to use beans and peas without cooking them from scratch.
- Use beans as a dip for vegetables or filling for sandwiches.
- Serve soup made from beans or peas - minestrone, split-pea, black bean, or lentil (once a week or more).
- Try black-eyed peas or black beans as a vegetable side dish with meat or fish.
- Add beans to salads. Many salad bars feature kidney beans, three-bean salad, or chick peas (garbanzo beans).