Pile on the fruits of summer

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. “5 A Day,” the suggested serving of fruits and vegetables per day, originated back in the early 1990s. New guidelines from the USDA now recommend that adults should eat five to 13 servings of a variety of produce daily—depending on age, physical activity, and overall health—to gain the health benefits. It is not surprising that nine out of 10 American fall short (CDC).

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer, eye and digestive problems, have a positive effect on blood sugar, and help maintain a healthy weight (Harvard School of Public Health).

Convincing evidence gained through the largest and longest study showed the higher the daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Those who averaged eight or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke (Harvard School of Public Health).

The DASH diet which includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, restricted saturated fats and sodium can help people with hypertension to reduce their blood pressure. With two-thirds of American adults overweight, the benefits of fruits and vegetables is important. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and water which help to feel full and prevent overeating (Mayo Clinic).

Summer makes it easy to find and eat colorful, healthy fruits and vegetables. Try many colors and kinds of fruits and vegetables. All forms—whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried—provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber (Health.gov). Be sure to wash thoroughly before using even if you are not eating the skin, so dirt and bacteria are not transferred when peeling or cutting the produce (FDA).

Additional information here.