The importance of proper nutrition is well-known and fruits and vegetables are key parts to a healthy diet. To help recognize their importance, September has been designated as Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. This observance is focused on helping Americans increase fruit and vegetable consumption for improved health. This initiative is lead by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, whose goal is to foster an environment where people can include fruits and vegetables at every eating occasion.
Though many know the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, more than 90 percent of adults and children in the U.S. do not eat the recommended amounts. ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends having fruits and vegetables cover half of your plate and making them the focal point of every meal.
Not convinced that you should be eating fruits and vegetables? Here are some of the top reasons why you should be:
- Fruits and veggies add color, texture and appeal to your plate
- Fruits and veggies are nutritious in any form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice.
- Fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.
- Fruits and veggies are naturally low in calories.
- Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
- Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
- Fruits and veggies are available in an almost infinite variety.
- Fruits and veggies are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack.
- Fruits and veggies are fun to eat!
- Fruits and veggies are nutritious and delicious.
Plan4Health coalitions know the importance of increasing access to fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods within their community. Check out the blogs below on some of the work that’s been done by local communities working in the nutrition focus area of the Plan4Health project:
- Jackson County Farmers’ Market Named 3rd Best in Midwest
- Square Foot Gardens in Thomas County, KS
- A Healthy Corner Store Update from Kenton County, KY
- Springtime Bloom: Community Gardens and Farmers Markets
- Increasing Healthy Food Access Through Mobile Vending
- Farmers Markets and Food Hubs: Healthy Food in Kane County
- Idaho Plan4Health: Connecting Communities, Creating Change in Vista
Show your support by signing the More Matters Pledge to Fight Obesity and check out the grab-and-go packet from Partnering4Health for resources and ideas on how you can support Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month.
Interested in attending an event? Learn more about Fruit & Veggie Happenings in Your Local Community.
Pictures courtesy of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Jackson County Healthy Communities Coalition.