The Incredible Benefits of Fruits & Vegetables
Happy National Nutrition Month!
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While it may not be that straightforward, there is one thing I can say with certainty: fruits and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses.
Not only are they packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, as well as magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do wonders for your health. Research suggests fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, and lower the risk of eye and digestive problems.1
Struggling to get five servings a day? Here is some great news: fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables all count towards the recommended five daily and all have nutritional benefits.2 So whether it is grabbing an apple to enjoy at your desk later, opting for a leafy green salad for lunch or snacking on a couple probiotic dried prunes – or maybe all three - you are receiving the incredible benefits of fruits and vegetables.
Here a few of my favorite ways to up your daily intake of fruits and vegetables -
- Power up your oatmeal: Top your oatmeal with diced fresh apples, a handful of organic dried cranberries and chopped walnuts for an antioxidant punch.
- Creative smoothies: Leafy greens like spinach are rich in iron and the perfect base for your daily smoothie. Try this one: spinach, fresh ginger, organic dried mango and banana smoothie - so good! Another favorite is an apricot & banana smoothie (with probiotics thanks to Mariani Probiotic Apricots)
- Satisfying snacks: Make homemade granola with dried mango and cranberries, snack on celery sticks & carrots with natural peanut butter, or keep it simple with a serving of fresh, chewy and subtly sweet organic dried apricots.
- “Hidden” fruits & vegetables: Add grated fresh zucchini to ground meat (think meatballs & meatloaf) or use organic dates instead of sugar in desserts (like this decadent fudge recipe!)
Upgrade your food, and you upgrade your life!
From our family to yours,
Natalie Mariani Kling, CCN