Looking to add more fruits and veggies into your diet? Our dietitians provide helpful tips on everything from buying on a budget to creative ways to enjoy your bounty.
Editor’s Note: Every week in March, BestMedicine will be featuring stories from the dietitians at Renown Health concerning ways to “Go Further With Food,” which is the theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month.
Medical professionals as well as dietitians will tell you that a meal plan heavy with fruits and vegetables is often the way to go. Still, it’s not always the easiest thing to add them to meals in ways that are motivating and exciting.
That’s where these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics come in. They help to address the most common barriers people may have to adding more fruits and vegetables, from preparation challenges to maintaining interest to buying in season.
Buying On a Budget
Most veggies and fruits are available year-round, but buying in season can save money. That’s definitely true of farmers markets. Visit one of the two Nevada Grown markets planned for Renown Regional Medical Center for National Nutrition Month March 16 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Tahoe Tower Lobby, 1155 Mill St., Reno.
Here are some ideas on how to stretch that dollar and increase the use of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Fruit and Veggies for Better Health
The top 10 reasons to eat more fruit and vegetables include things that are essential for good health. From getting more vitamins and minerals in your diet to cutting calorie counts, these foods can help inspire better living. They may also reduce the effects of chronic diseases.
What are Phytochemicals?
Dietitians know all about the benefits of phytochemicals, which include red and purple berries with anthocyanidins, which help with the blood vessels. Anotherphytochemical is lycopene, which is found in red peppers and tomatoes and helps with prostate cancer prevention and overall heart health.
Choices, choices, choices
Lastly, the academy has put together a handy list of 20 ways to enjoy more fruits and vegetables. These tips include:
- Grill colorful vegetable kabobs.
- Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.
- Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots or the veggies of your choice.
- Place colorful fruits where everyone can easily grab a snack-on-the-run.
- Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, cucumber or whatever works for you!
To receive an assessment on your specific dietary needs, schedule a consultation with one of Renown’s registered dietitians at Renown Health Improvement Programs. Call 775-982-5073.