Top six reasons to eat your veggies

Learn the top six reasons why eating more vegetables is valuable to your health

Most Americans don’t eat the minimum amount of vegetables each day as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Finding ways to increase your vegetable consumption to 2-3.5 cups per day, based on age and activity level, will go a long way in reducing risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

There are more reasons to eat your vegetables than just "because your mom told you so." Get ready to peel, slice and dice your way to eating healthier!

  1. The fresh produce season is just beginning and many types of vegetables are ready for picking and buying. Celebrate the local bounty that Michigan has to offer!
  2. Vegetables are generally a fat-free food choice. As an example, chopped broccoli has no grams of fat. Basically, the naturally occurring vegetable has very little fat. Fat is introduced during the food preparation process from added ingredients such as sour cream, butter, margarine or cheese.
  3. Fiber! Vegetables are part of a living plant which is a good source of fiber. We eat stems, leaves, roots, flowers and seeds of vegetables plants. By eating vegetables, you are more likely to eat the recommended 25 (women)  to 38 (men) grams of fiber needed each day.
  4. Save money by choosing vegetables. Recent research from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds that nutritious foods, such as grains, vegetables and dairy typically cost less than items high in saturated fat and added sugar. Take advantage of in-season produce and preserve the surplus for a time when these foods are not easy to get.
  5. Veggies are low in calories since they have very little fat or sugar. Fill a quarter of your plate with vegetables and have no guilt!
  6. Vegetables are loaded with important nutrients like potassium, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C. Think of eating a rainbow – the more colors, the varied the nutrients.

Vegetables are loaded with powerful nutrients to help you stay healthy. Enjoy this fiber-rich, low-fat food at every meal to make sure you eat the veggies needed to keep yourself fueled for the summer.

 

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