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July 2024

Make the Most of Amazing Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, along with naturally occurring compounds called phytonutrients.

Many studies have linked produce intake with an array of health benefits, from reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke to improved gastrointestinal health and vision. Phytonutrients in vegetables help manage the growth of cancer cells, stimulate the immune system and have antibacterial and antiviral effects.

However, most Americans do not meet the daily target for vegetables and are missing out on the amazing health benefits they have to offer!

Tips To Meet Your Daily Vegetable Goal
Buy produce in season for better taste, variety and price. More ripe produce tends to be richer in nutrients.

  • Strive for vegetables at lunch & dinner; make half of your plate vegetables.
  • Try adding mushrooms, spinach or tomatoes to scrambled eggs.
  • Add more vegetables to your salad or a sandwich, including cucumbers, tomatoes, or mushrooms.
  • Add chopped vegetables (cucumber, celery, onions) to tuna, egg or chicken salad.
  • Use hummus or baba ganoush (eggplant spread) for sandwich spreads instead of mayonnaise.
  • For salad variety try coleslaw, broccoli slaw or even tomato salad.
  • If you enjoy soups and stews, add vegetables! (Use low sodium soup or stock.)
  • Try cauliflower rice instead of rice.
  • Add vegetables to spaghetti sauce; mushrooms, bell peppers, or even eggplant.
  • Keep raw vegetables cut up in your refrigerator and ready to eat.  For an easy dip mix plain nonfat Greek yogurt & salsa.
  • Keep frozen vegetables on hand to ensure vegetables are available.
  • If canned vegetables are used, they should be low sodium; or drain off the liquid
    and rinse with water.
  • Try a new vegetable each month.

Seasonal Selections & Variety
Each season brings a fresh chance to discover new vegetables.  Keep seasonal selections and color in mind. Eating with the seasons can support local farming.

Since the nutrients in vegetables vary, having a variety is key to getting optimal health benefits. Each color range of vegetables provides different phytonutrients: the more colorful your plate, the healthier it is!


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