Find Out How Much Fruit and Veggies Can Do for You
By Sandy Schroeder
As we make our way through the pandemic, staying healthy is an ongoing goal, but we may be missing a very simple boost.
According to Harvard Health, "The benefits of eating slightly more fruits and vegetables can be seen in as little as two to eight weeks."
Researchers say blood pressure will be lower and overall heart health will be improved. There will be measurably less strain on the heart and decreased heart muscle damage. This is crucial to prevent heart attacks, aortic aneurysms, stroke and peripheral artery damage. A healthy cardiovascular system, the network of arteries connected to our hearts, keeps our bodies running well.
So how do we eat better? Simply eat more fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, seeds and beans and legumes, and cut back on processed foods, red meats, snacks, and sweets.
What to Do
Rethink breakfast - Skip sugary cereals or bagels and reach for a bowl of low fat yogurt or old-fashioned oats topped with berries or nuts. Love eggs? Whip up a veggie packed frittata. Add cherry tomatoes, red peppers, green onions or black beans.
Add fruits of veggies to your snacks - When you reach that afternoon low point, enjoy nuts, bananas, apples and peanut butter with whole fruit jam on whole wheat bread. Or eat a cup of hummus with carrot strips, or enjoy a few squares of dark chocolate with an orange.
Keep adding veggies wherever you can - Slip them into your cooking, adding frozen chopped spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli to your soups, stews and other casseroles. Add red peppers and sweet onions to your barbecue.
Making It Work
As you plan new menus, watch for improvements in weight loss and energy gain. At the same time, check sites such as Epicurious.com for new veggie and fruit recipes, shop your local farmers market and consider growing a small garden.
You and your family can expand your time outside by growing veggies in a small garden plot or use pots on the patio to grow tomatoes, spinach, green onion, basil, and dill.
Start a list of new veggies and fruits to try, and note the ones favored by your family to use as a base for menu choices.
You will still have to make an occasional stop for pizza or burgers and add some ice cream or cookies to your shopping list, but overall if you change the ratio with a bigger swing to fruits and veggies you will be on the right track for better health.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mt. Juliet, Tenn.