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Johns Hopkins Health Alert 15 Tasty Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Posted Dec 29 2009 6:09am

Study after study reports that when your diet is high in fruits and vegetables — which are the richest natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber — you are doing the best you can to protect your heart and help prevent many diseases, including cancer. Yet, approximately 90% of Americans fail to meet the government’s recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

In light of the mounting evidence that fruits and vegetables offer even more health benefits than previously understood, it makes good sense to increase your intake of these foods and explore a wider variety of the fruits and vegetables.

An apple a day may “keep the doctor away,” but you’ll be doing your body a favor if you sometimes snack on other kinds of produce — kiwifruit, blueberries, carrots, pomegranate juice, or dried apricots, to name just a few. If you don’t already eat at least two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables every day, consider the following heart-healthy tips:

  • Heart Health Tip 1. Stock up on fresh fruits and keep them accessible on your countertop or visible in your refrigerator.
  • Heart Health Tip 2. Add fresh or dried fruit to your breakfast cereal.
  • Heart Health Tip 3. Thaw frozen berries and add them to plain or vanilla yogurt for a snack or dessert.
  • Heart Health Tip 4. Have a six-ounce glass of 100% fruit juice with your breakfast.
  • Heart Health Tip 5. As thirst-quencher or a mealtime beverage, make a “spritzer” by adding 100% fruit juice to sparking water or seltzer.
  • Heart Health Tip 6. Enjoy a fruit smoothie made by blending low-fat milk or yogurt with fresh or frozen fruits.
  • Heart Health Tip 7. Bring dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cranberries, apple slices) to work for mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks.
  • Heart Health Tip 8. Add tomatoes, onions, peppers, and/or mushrooms to an egg-white omelet for a hearty breakfast or brunch.
  • Heart Health Tip 9. Chill small cans of vegetable juice to snack on at work.
  • Heart Health Tip 10. When dining out, start your meal with a salad.
  • Heart Health Tip 11. When making or ordering a wrap or sandwich, include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and other raw vegetables.
  • Heart Health Tip 12. Add raisins, grapes, or apple slices to your salads.
  • Heart Health Tip 13. Make a big pot of vegetable soup on the weekend and freeze it in single-portion containers to reheat for a quick weekday lunch or supper.
  • Heart Health Tip 14. Make your own pizza (you can buy ready-to- use dough at a pizzeria or supermarket) and top it with mushrooms, onions, broccoli, spinach, or eggplant.
  • Heart Health Tip 15. Double the portion of vegetables you already eat at lunch and dinner.
Posted in Heart Health on December 11, 2009

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