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 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, according to research. The good news? Eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
According to one estimate, if people in the U.S. ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day for a year, it would save:
- more than 30,000 lives.
- $5 billion in medical costs.
Plus, there are even more great reasons to eat your fruits and vegetables.
Easy ways to add color with pride
Show your pride this month by eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends 4 servings (about 2 cups) of fruit and 5 servings (about 2.5 cups) 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 products with the lowest amounts of sodium, saturated fat and added sugar. Stick with the simplest forms, without heavy sauces or syrups.
Here are some easy ways to add more colorful fruits and veggies to your plate all day long:
In the morning
- Add chopped vegetables to your eggs or breakfast potatoes. Try onions, celery, bell peppers or spinach.
- Add bananas, raisins, dates or frozen berries to your whole-grain cereal. Try our Overnight No-Cook Banana Oatmeal.
- Slide cucumber, sprouts, tomato, lettuce or avocado into your sandwich. Your whole family can get into it with our Kid-Friendly White Bean and Avocado Wrap.
- Try a hearty salad. Mix it up with a variety of vegetables and legumes like in this Chopped Colorful Veggie Salad.
To get you through the afternoon slump
- Keep crisp veggie sticks handy for scooping up hummus or guacamole. Try red bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, celery or carrots.
- Munch on frozen fruits. Give grapes, berries or bananas a try. Or make these Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops with Peaches.
In the evening
- Add a side of vegetables – microwaving a package of frozen veggies makes it easy.
- Chop vegetables such as onions, carrots, garlic and celery and add them to soup, stew, beans, rice, pasta sauce and other sauces.
For your sweet tooth snack
- Swap a smoothie for dessert. The canned pumpkin in this Pumpkin Spice Smoothie makes it a sweet, healthy treat.
- Fruits are naturally sweet. Kid-friendly Apple Nachos can do the trick.
Adding even one more serving of fruits and vegetables each day is a step toward a healthier you.
How will you add color to your plate this month?