Did you know that LGBTQI Pride month is also National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month? Celebrate both with a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.
And this month, please be inclusive: all forms (fresh, frozen, canned and dried) and all colors count!
Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to have poor cardiovascular health. That’s according to initial findings from a study presented this March at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Lifestyle conference. The good news? Eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. That’s right: 20 percent!!
According to one estimate, if Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day for a year, this would save:
- more than 30,000 lives
- $5 billion in medical costs
Now, those are some reasons to eat more fruits and veggies!
10 ways to add color with pride
How can you show your pride this month? Eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies! The American Heart Association recommends 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day.
And, all produce counts. Canned, fresh, frozen and dried varieties can help you reach your goal. Just be sure to compare food labels. Choose the products with the lowest amounts of sodium, saturated fat and added sugar. Stick with the simplest forms, without heavy sauces or syrups.
Here’s how you can add more colorful fruits and veggies to your plate:
In the morning:
- Add chopped up vegetables to your eggs or breakfast potatoes. Try onions, celery, green or red bell peppers, or spinach.
- Add bananas, raisins, dates or frozen berries to your whole grain cereal like this Overnight No-Cook Banana Oatmeal.
- Slide cucumber, sprouts, tomato, lettuce or avocado into your sandwich. Your whole family can get into it with kid-Friendly White Bean and Avocado Wrap.
- Try a refreshing salad. Mix it up with using a variety of veggies like this broccoli salad with water chestnuts and dried cranberries.
To get you through the afternoon slump:
- Keep crisp veggie sticks handy. Try red bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, celery or carrots.
- Munch on frozen fruits or vegetables. Give grapes, berries, peas or bananas a try. Or, taste these Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops with Peaches.
In the evening:
- Steam a side of vegetables – frozen veggies make it easy in the microwave.
- Chop vegetables like onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Add them to soup, stew, beans, rice, pasta sauce and other sauces.
For your sweet tooth:
- Try veggies for dessert. The canned pumpkin in this pumpkin spice smoothie is a sweet, refreshing treat.
- Fruits are naturally sweet. Kid-friendly apple nachos can do the trick.
Adding even one serving of color each day is a step toward a healthier you.
How will you add color to your plate in June?