Many agencies are kicking off the WellMASS More Matters Challenge this week, and it goes without saying that employees who participate in this 30-day challenge to eat more fruits and vegetables are doing their health a huge favor. Fruits and vegetables can be an excellent source of many beneficial nutrients, including
- Vitamin A (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, winter squash, cantaloupe, red peppers, Chinese cabbage)
- Vitamin C (red and green peppers, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, oranges, mangoes, tomato juice, cauliflower)
- Vitamin K (kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, chard)
- Folate (cooked spinach, great northern beans, asparagus)
- Potassium (sweet potatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, beet greens, white potatoes, white beans, lima beans, cooked greens, carrot juice, prune juice, bananas, oranges, orange juice, mushrooms)
- Antioxidants (blue, purple, red, and dark orange fruits and veggies)
In order to meet your Daily Recommended Intake of fruits and veggies, consider some of the following tips:
- Always keep frozen fruits and veggies on hand. Frozen produce doesn’t go bad, and it actually often contains more nutrients than the fresh stuff, as it’s picked at its peak (when the nutrient content is highest) and flash frozen (so it doesn’t ripen and lose nutrients in the process).
- Try a new fruit or vegetable each week. In-season varieties are often less expensive and more nutritious than their out-of-season counterparts. Berries, stone fruits, and summer squash are particularly abundant (and delicious) this time of year.
- Include at least one fruit or one vegetable in each meal or snack.
- Make a smoothie and include as many different fruits as possible. As a bonus, toss in some frozen spinach or kale for a serving of veggies – you’ll never be able to taste the difference!
If you’re up for the challenge to eat more fruits and vegetables, but haven’t already signed up, contact your agency’s Wellness Champion or click here for instructions on how to start the Challenge at your worksite. And if you have any favorite strategies for eating more fruits and veggies, feel free to share them in the Comments section!