September is National Fruit & Veggie Month to remind us that we need to eat more of these healthy, colorful foods. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t get enough.
Only one-third of teens eat the daily recommended requirement of vegetables and only one-fourth eat the recommended amount of fruit. Boys eat more fruits and veggies than girls. Younger teens eat better than older teens. It seems that the older we get, the less fruits and vegetable we eat. Only 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended daily servings of these healthy foods.
We can’t buy a month’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables because they’ll rot. Frozen is a great alternative to fresh. They retain much of their nutrition and have no added ingredients. Canned foods lose some of their nutrients during the canning process and may have added salts, preservatives, and other chemicals. The cans are lined with BPA which has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
A lot of people use juicing and smoothies to get those necessary foods into their diets. Juicing and smoothies can contain a lot of sugar but not much fiber. Healthy smoothies use coconut water, almond milk, water, or vegetable broth as the liquid with whole fruits and vegetables and possibly some protein.
Unhealthy, but most likely tasty, smoothies use milk, soy milk, or juice only as the liquid. They may contain too many calories from fruits high in sugar. Nuts and some fruits like avocados may be high in calories from fats. Always find out exactly what the ingredients are and what a real serving size is before you drink it.
Keep in mind – some fruits and vegetables are higher in carbs than others. I use all-natural fruit and vegetable powders that are cleanly processed so that nutrition is not lost. These powders are really versatile and they taste great!
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