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Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month

September 01, 2018

September is FRUITS AND VEGGIES- MORE MATTERS MONTH

 

          Only 13% of adult Americans ate the recommended 1.5-2 cups of fruit each day in 2013, and fewer than 9% ate the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables. That’s the result of a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which analyzed responses from 373,580 adults across all 50 US states.  A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.  Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Try dark leafy greens; brightly colored red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits; and cooked tomatoes.

Key Nutrients found in Fruits and Vegetables

  • Calcium:  Eating foods such as fruits that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
  • Fiber:  Fiber has been found to significantly decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Folate:  Healthy diets consisting of folate help reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal defect. 
  • Iron:  Iron is needed for healthy blood, and normal functioning of cells.
  • Magnesium:  Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and is involved with 300 enzymes in your body.  Inadequate amounts result in muscle cramps, and high blood pressure
  • Potassium:  Potassium may help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Sodium:  Sodium is needed for normal cell functioning.  High sodium results in high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin A:  Vitamin A helps maintains healthy eyes and skin and protect against infections.
  • Vitamin C:  Vitamin C help heals cuts and keeps teeth and gum healthy. 

 

What are the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables?

  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes
  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss
  • Eating foods such as fruits that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.

Quick tips to adding fruits and vegetables into your diet

  • Mix sliced fruit or frozen berries with yogurt or cereal.
  • Add apple chunks, pineapple, grapes, or raisins to tuna or chicken salad.
  • Make fruit smoothies by blending together fresh or frozen fruit, fruit juice, and yogurt.
  • Add dried or fresh fruit to oatmeal, pancakes, and waffles
  • Add lots of colorful vegetables, such as red cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers, to green salads.
  • Top salads with dried cranberries or raisins, or with sliced pears, oranges, nectarines, strawberries, or grapefruit.
  • Add extra vegetables, such as grated zucchini or carrots, spinach, kale, and bell peppers, to pasta sauces and soups.
  • Add lots of vegetables to sandwiches. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado slices are flavorful choices.\
  • Keep track of how many fruits and vegetables you eat each day. You are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables if you write down how many servings you get.
  • Have a goal. Start with small goals you can achieve easily. Then set larger goals as you go. For example, you might want to start by eating one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day. When you have achieved that goal, your next goal could be to include an extra serving of fruit or vegetables at most meals.

 

For more information contact the Manalapan Township Health Department:

Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location:
Manalapan Town Hall
120 Route 522 & Taylors Mills Road, Manalapan, NJ  07726

Phone: (732) 446-8345
Fax: (732) 446-1576

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