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July 2017

Maximize Nutrition: Boost Your Produce Intake

The foundation of a healthy diet is fruit and vegetables.  Most produce is naturally low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber.  Recent studies have revealed a link between fruits, vegetables and longevity.  Studies indicate that a higher produce consumption may be linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer!

Your Daily Dose
Based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines, strive for a daily minimum of:

2 cups of Vegetables
1½ cups of Fruit

Include a variety of colorful produce for optimum health benefits. This is due to the powerful phytonutrients in produce which are identified by color. The more colorful your plate, the healthier it is!

Select seasonal fruits and vegetables as much as possible.  Eating in season adds variety, flavor and freshness.  It also supports local agriculture and can be less expensive.  Choose fresh whole fruits and vegetables or those that are minimally processed as much as possible.  This will help you to limit added sugar, fat and salt.

If you are diabetic or need to lose weight, fill your plate with more vegetables than fruit.

Boost Your Produce Intake

  • Always have produce available at home, including fresh and frozen items without added sugar or sauces.
  • Include vegetables or fruit at each meal.
  • At lunch and dinner fill half of your plate with vegetables.
  • Have fresh fruit and vegetables cut up in the refrigerator making them readily available to eat for a quick snack.
  • Add fresh fruit to salads or to breakfast cereals.
  • Add vegetables to eggs, tuna or chicken salad sandwiches, soups and stews.

Keep Produce Safe

  • Choose Wisely & Handle Gently - do not purchase bruised produce.
  • Storage - remove from plastic, store ripe fruit and vegetables separately in the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Wash Hands - before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Clean Produce - just prior to eating or preparation, clean under cool running water.
  • Refrigerate - always store produce in the refrigerator once it is cut.


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