The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics designates the month of March as National Nutrition Month. This organization strives to educate people in the United States on the importance of eating a balanced diet. A recent government study conducted by the Center for Disease Control found that Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that people of all ages eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day—especially leafy greens. Dr. James Fondriest and our professional oral health team discuss the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and offer easy tips to increase vegetable intake.
Fruits and Vegetables are Important for Your Health
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. Antioxidants found in vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables protect your body against free-radical damage. For example, blueberries contain high amounts of polyphenols, which are a great source of antioxidants. Nutrient rich vegetables boost your immune system and improve your body’s ability to repair from damage as well. Research indicates that people who consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancers.
Easy Tips for Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake
- Replace one starchy side dish a day with a salad.
- Snack on carrots, celery, or fruit instead of potato chips.
- Keep cleaned and sliced fruit in your refrigerator for convenient snacking.
- Add fruit to your breakfast. Mix berries with your yogurt or oatmeal.
- Mix vegetables into sauces and casseroles. For example, add chopped zucchini to marinara sauce.
A balanced diet is great for your overall well being and your oral health. Increasing your vegetable intake helps manage your weight, fight off disease, and provides your body with necessary nutrients and minerals. For questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fondriest, contact our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve patients from all neighboring Chicago communities.