fruit-924937_1280Fruits and veggies are healthy, readily available and offer variety, so why is it, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, that fewer than 17% and 10% of adults eat their daily recommended amounts of each, respectively? Studies have shown us time and again just how beneficial these foods, from our leafy greens to our red apples, can be for us, yet millions of Americans continue to opt for packaged meals and fast food drive-thru fare daily.

For example, did you know that one avocado a day could lower your bad cholesterol[1], or that two or more daily servings of whole fruits, like blueberries, grapes, and apples, can minimize your risk of type 2 diabetes[2]? Considering the low calories and high nutritional content of fruits and veggies, it’s no wonder.

That’s why the same organization mentioned above is helping us all to increase our intake of these exceptional foods throughout the month of September and beyond with their “Fruits & Veggies More Matters” initiative. The objective is to not only up our consumption but to encourage us to fill half of our plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal. This concept is in support of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans[3], last published in 2010 by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, which gives three reasons for its recommendation:

  1. Many of us do not get enough of such vital nutrients as folate, magnesium and dietary fiber, as well as vitamins A, C and K, of which most fruits and vegetables provide large contributions.
  2. Fruits and vegetables, as mentioned above, play a proven role in mitigating risk of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  3. When eaten in their natural forms or prepared in a healthy way, the majority of fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which can aid in weight loss and in maintaining a healthy weight.

With these huge benefits in mind, challenge yourself during this week’s grocery shopping trip to pass up the processed snacks and instead add a few fruits and vegetables to your cart. If you’re unsure which, choose those that are in season now, like broccoli, sweet potatoes, pears and pineapple. Additionally, maximize your efforts by purchasing locally grown produce, such as that found at farmers’ markets and produce stands. Your foods will be fresher, which equates to higher nutritional content, and may contain less or no preservatives, since transportation to their destination was minimal.

Once home, go ahead and wash and cut your produce, if necessary, so that they’re readily available when you get an urge for a snack. You’ll be surprised at how much they satisfy that craving, while your body begins to recognize that fruit or veggie as a treat. Keep it up for the month of September to see a potential weight loss, or longer to realize one of the health benefits mentioned above and more.

Should you find that you need support in this area, contact a certified health coach or homeopath for expert and personalized guidance.

Join five of today’s most transformative presenters, including Dr. Veronica, for a live event on October 24, 2015, in NYC, where you’ll learn to be more, do more, live more, love more. Get details here.

[1] http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/4/1/e001355.abstract

[2] http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001

[3] http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010/