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Get more fruits and vegetables

Posted 8/21/2015

Eating fruits and vegetables each day is one of the most important choices you can make to help maintain your health. Studies have shown that eating at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables each day can lower the risk of getting many different types of chronic diseases. Fresh fruits and vegetables are cholesterol free and extremely low in saturated fat-if they contain any at all! Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamins and minerals--especially vitamins A and C--as well as the minerals potassium, magnesium, and iron. Finally, eating lots of fruits and vegetables will increase your intake of fiber. Certain types of fiber can reduce blood cholesterol in some people. Fiber can also help increase regularity and provide a feeling of fullness so that you are less likely to overeat and gain weight.

Getting “more” isn’t as hard as it sounds. Choose fruits and vegetables in the form you like best--fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. Try new combinations of foods like tossing broccoli and mushrooms with your favorite pasta or adding grapes to your yogurt. Top a baked potato with salsa instead of butter or sour cream. Add extra vegetables to canned soups and stews. Make sure the juice you’re buying is 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice. Juice drinks add calories, but do not usually have much in the way of vitamins or minerals. Every time you get “more” you’re looking out for your future and that of your family!

WHAT’S A SERVING?

3/4 cup of 100 percent fruit juice

1 cup of raw, chopped vegetable

1 piece medium-sized fruit

1 medium potato

1/4 cup of raisins or other dried fruit

1/2 cup of cooked vegetables

1/2 cup of canned fruit in juice

1/2 cup of salsa

THREE FRUIT SLUSHIE

1 cup seedless grapes

1 medium orange, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

1 medium banana, peeled and sliced

6 to 8 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Serve in 12-ounce glasses, garnished with an orange slice. Serves 2.

Email or call Susan Lednicky, Nutritionist with Clark County Cooperative Extension, at 702-257-5548.

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