Did you know that the month of June is “National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month”? As you welcome the beauty of summer, you might begin to work more often in the garden. Nothing could be more appropriate during National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! But, what if you don’t have a garden? How can you celebrate this June? By eating healthy, of course!
The USDA recommends that you eat between two and three cups of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. This number naturally depends on your activity level, as some seniors are not as mobile as others are.
Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables can add much needed fiber to your diet and help to maintain good digestion. It will also provide seniors with essential minerals and vitamins, which improve overall health. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables have shown to prevent serious diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Picking Your Fruits and Vegetables
One of the best rules of thumb when choosing fruits and vegetables is adding color. The more color you add, the better the health benefits. Fill your plate with different colors and reap the health benefits. For example, green fruits and vegetables offer seniors luteins and other vitamins that protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Orange vegetables give seniors a perfect source of beta-carotene to help kick-start the immune system. Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene and anthocyanins, which work hard to reduce your risk of certain cancers and keep your heart healthy. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that can protect your from cell damage and improve overall memory function. White fruits and vegetables can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Seeing all the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s clear that a colorful plate is a healthy plate!
Shopping for Fruits and Vegetables
When you are shopping at the grocery store for fruits and vegetables, always remember to bring them home and wash them off immediately. Place them in glass bowls that are covered with a plastic wrap. This makes them easily accessible for seniors.
Remember, do not purchase too many fruits and vegetables at one time. They tend to have a short shelf life and spoil rather quickly. A good idea is to purchase enough for about three days’ time, giving seniors plenty of time to eat them before purchasing more.
Now that you know all the benefits of eating fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, it’s time to celebrate during the month of June! Give yourself the gift of healthy eating this National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month.