Pumpkins, apples, and cabbage are just a few of the veggies and fruits that are at their peak in October, which is perfect timing since it’s a month that celebrates vegetarianism!
Don’t worry: no one is asking you to give up steaks, burgers, and barbecue (it’s football tailgating season, after all!), but experimenting with fruits and vegetables, trying a few new recipes, and adding a few to your daily diet can go a long way toward helping you achieve long-term health goals.
According to an independent survey of adults across all 50 states, half of respondents consume fruit less than once per day, and vegetables less than 1.7 times per day. In fact, only about 13 percent of people in the United States said they eat enough fruit and less than 10 percent said they consume enough vegetables to meet daily Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Just what constitutes “enough”? Research indicates that adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day should eat 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit, and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day.
Although the recommendations may remind you of the days your parents wouldn’t let you leave the table without “one more bite,” healthier food options actually lead to significant improvements in your overall health.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention studies have revealed that consuming whole fruits and vegetables (as opposed to “100% juice” versions) reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Vegetable-eaters also find that it’s easier to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight when they replace foods that are high in added sugars, fat, and calories, with fruits and vegetables.
We’re lucky, here in the South, because we have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available for purchase year ’round. Windsong homeowners all live within a short distance from farmer’s markets, farms, and even grocery chains that feature locally sourced produce. Kitchens designed with the Active Adult homeowner in mind make preparing scrumptious vegetable dishes and fruit desserts convenient and easy to share with friends and family.
For a delicious selection of vegetable-centric recipes, visit www.cookinglight.com.
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