That old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds true. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of many health issues including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. In addition, fruits and vegetables provide a good source of important nutrients, including potassium, folate, vitamins A and C, fiber, and a host of beneficial phytochemicals. In truth, we all need more than one fruit a day.
Most of us know that fruits and vegetables are good for our health, but we may not eat enough of them. According to the CDC, adults should consume 1.5–2 cups of fruits and 2–3 cups of vegetables per day. Does this sound like your day? If it does, you are doing great. Yet, few people meet these goals. Just 1 in 10 adults meets the CDC’s fruit or vegetable recommendations with only 12% of adults meeting the recommendations for fruit and 7% for vegetables.
I am challenging you to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables as a new goal for 2020. You can do this by adding some to each of your meals. Increasing the intake of vegetables seems to be the most difficult, but may be the most beneficial, especially to the health of your gut microbiota.
In the morning, when you are making an omelette or scrambled eggs, add some kale, tomato, peppers, onion, garlic and maybe some zucchini. Imagine that! You will have added 6 vegetables to one meal.
At lunch, try adding extra veggies to your sandwich or wrap such as spinach, avocado, thinly sliced cucumbers or carrots. Add jicama for some crunch or radish for some punch.
Another great way to motivate yourself is by joining our “Eat the Rainbow Challenge.” This 2-week program is designed to encourage you to broaden your diet and include fruits and vegetables from the colors of the rainbow.
Fruits and vegetables fall into five different color categories: red, purple/blue, green, white/brown and yellow/orange. Each color carries its own set of unique disease fighting substances called phytochemicals. These phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their vibrant color and their healthy properties. Eating a variety of colors is one sure method to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
Stacie Nicewander, Holistic Nutritionist, will show you how easy and tasty it is to eat all the colors of the rainbow. She has many helpful tips and recipes to help make it a daily step for you. Even if you’re already a “healthy eater,” committing to eat the rainbow really pushes you to keep your healthy choices varied.
In this two-week program, you will receive three e-mails per week. You will learn about a featured fruit and vegetable, get a tasty recipe(s) containing the featured fruit and vegetable, and some tips as to how you can more easily incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet.
What a great way to start the New Year! And it’s only two weeks of your life, which is totally doable! It is my hope that you will see and feel such a difference, that you will continue to make adding fruits and veggies a part of your daily routine, even after you complete the challenge.
There is no charge for the Eat the Rainbow Challenge, so you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Unless you count the possibility of losing some weight and gaining some energy! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do this!
The Challenge runs from January 27th – February 9th, 2020.
Fill out the form below to sign up