May I have the rest of your pomegranate? Do you know of an organic orchard nearby? Do you think the grocer will give cut me a deal on the price if I offer to buy the leaf spinach by the bushel?
Chances are, you haven’t asked any of these questions in the recent past. But let your thoughts ramble a bit in this direction, for September is Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Month. It’s time to push the fruit and vegetable initiative, proclaiming the healthy, sustaining benefits of these healthiest of the food groups. And also following up the talk by incorporating them into our diets.
We all have hopefully heard by now that eating vegetables and fruit is good for us. An apple a day, and all that. But then, why do all too many of us refuse to follow through on this sound wisdom? The explanations are myriad: time, budget, lack of comprehensive knowledge and the fact that many of us very much wish kale tasted like chocolate brownies. Increasing consumption isn’t necessarily easy, at least at first, but it is most definitely rewarding.
Let’s get specific here: did you know fruit and vegetables are tremendous preventative agents against disease, including cancer and heart disease? Did you know many of them are high in fiber, hence a lovely way to keep your digestive system at ease? From the vanity angle, did you know a diet high in fruit and vegetables improves skin pallor, the sparkle of the teeth in your smile and the luster of your hair as well as your muscle tone? The case for kale is beginning to become a stronger one!
But many of us believe all that, know we should up our fruit and veggie intake and maybe even have tried to make a point of that in the past. And it didn’t work. So what now? As with so many things, education makes all the difference. All forms of fruit and veggies are good in some ways, so if you’re an on-the-go type, and don’t have time to be haunting produce stands twice or more weekly, remember that there are many nutritious brands of frozen vegetables. Boil some water, drop in the broccoli and in 10 minutes, voila! — nutrition on a plate.
Eat Healthy Hack: Learn what fruits and vegetables are in season. The taste of a sweet potato changes markedly in October from those withered specimens you might find in May. If you’re one to claim you don’t like veggies, maybe you’ve all too rarely been having them at the optimal time of year.
Another Pro Tip: Find what you like. You don’t have to choke down carrots if that’s a no-go for you. One of the best things about vegetables and fruit is the amazing variety of options. Try some different stuff and you are sure to find plenty that appeals to you!
Whatever the case, take advantage of an official month to kick-start your fruit and vegetable consumption. Like any other new behavior, it only takes a couple of weeks to settle into a habit. Your body, not to mention your primary care physician, will thank you.
P.S. There’s a LOT going on in September, with awareness campaigns for a single day, a week or even the entire month. Here are some links to areas you may find of interest!