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Fruits and Veggie Month (September)

September is National Fruit & Veggie Month! We all know that fruits and vegetables are beneficial to our bodies but what are they really doing for you? How can you incorporate them into your diet and how many should you be eating? To celebrate the awareness of Fruit & Veggie month and answer some nutrition questions, we will look at the Centers for Disease Control "Fruit & Veggies: More Matter," campaign, which promotes eating a variety of these foods every day for optimum health.

According to the CDC, eating fruits and vegetables provides the body with minerals, vitamins and fiber, all of which are essential in helping to protect you from chronic disease. People who eat a healthier, more colorful diet, have a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers and stroke.

Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet doesn't have to be difficult! Simple things like adding fruit to cereal, vegetables to an omelet, eating fruits or vegetables for a snack or making a fresh fruit smoothie are all healthy and fun ways to increase your consumption of these important foods.

A typical adult diet requires two cups of fruits and two and half cups of vegetables per day. However, this varies by age, gender and activity level. A cup of fruit would be a small apple and one cup of vegetables is about 12 baby carrots.

Eating healthy is something we can all do to reduce our risk of disease and it can be done in a cost effective way. We know fresh might be best, but we can buy canned fruits (in their own juice) and, frozen vegetables. Buying fruits and vegetables in season, cutting coupons and shopping at discount grocery stores can help to reduce the cost of these items. Remember, fruits and vegetables are good for the health of you and your family, so eat up!

For more information on the CDC Fruits & Veggies: More Matter campaign visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html

Article provided by Bethany Bowen, Intern at James Madison University working with Dana Breeding, RN Health Educator of Community Wellness at Augusta Health. To contact Dana Breeding, RN related to the information above, please call (540) 332- 4988 or (540) 932-4988.