Fruits and Veggies Month

The Produce for Better Health Foundation recognizes September as Fruits and Veggies month. The PBHF recommends every person make fruits and veggies about half of what you eat, every time you eat.  Combined with physical activity, eating the right amount of fruits and veggies can keep your family healthy and going strong.

Fruits and vegetables offer a magnitude of health benefits including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Research also suggests that fruits and vegetables contain compounds that play a role in preventing certain cancers as well as heart disease and stroke. By eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, a person will receive the most all-around health benefits. 

Red fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin.  These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and support joint tissue. Common red fruits and vegetables include beets, cherries, cranberries, radishes, raspberries, red grapes, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon.    

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C.  These nutrients lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce age-related macular generation and the risk of prostate cancer, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones. Yellow and orange favorites include butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, organs, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkin, and sweet corn. 

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene.  These nutrients reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, and boost the immune system. Green fruits and vegetables include asparagus, avocados, broccoli, green grapes, lettuce, peas, spinach, kiwifruit, peas, and zucchini.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin.  These nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost the immune system, support healthy digestion, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, and improve calcium and other mineral absorption. Familiar blue and purple fruits and vegetables are blackberries, eggplant, grapes, plums, pomegranates, purple cabbage and blueberries.   

White fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as beta-glucans and liganans that provide immune boosting activity. These nutrients activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels. White fruits and vegetables include bananas, cauliflower, dates, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, and onions.

A cheaper method of eating fresh fruits and vegetables is to grow your own.  Home-grown produce has all the nutritional benefits and it costs a lot less.  For your own garden, choose the most flavorful and color variety of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are good for your budget and good for your body.