The Storehouse works hard to provide fresh fruits and vegetables year-round to local families. After all, they are healthy and filling and good for snacks and well as meals. To highlight that aspect of our work at the food pantry, we are sharing information about National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, which is celebrated every June.
Fruits and vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals and plant chemicals. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some kinds of cancer, and lower risks of digestive problems. Also, having more fruits and vegetables in your diet can help positively affect your blood sugar. This can bring your appetite in check, and reduce how much you eat and how frequently. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and leafy greens may even promote weight loss. Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.
How Many Fruits & Vegetables Should you Eat?
So, now we have explained how important fruits and vegetables are. However, variety and quantity are also important. Experts recommend eating five kinds of vegetables and two different fruits every day for good health. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat plenty every day and try new kinds. A good rule of thumb is to make sure half of your plate for every meal is fruits or vegetables.
Wondering how you can eat that many vegetables? Visit this handy government website, MyPlate, take the quiz, and learn how to make every bite count. https://www.myplate.gov/
Celebrate Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Month by Eating More of them
Tips tips to get more fruits and vegetables into each day:
- Keep fruit where you can see it and ready to eat. Place several washed whole fruits in a bowl or store cut up fruits in clear containers in your refrigerator. We are all guilty of eating what is easy and tempting. Use this idea to get yourself and your family to eat more fruits and veggies.
- Explore a farmers market or more of the produce aisles. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors is the best way to have a healthy diet. As some say, “Eat the rainbow.” Look for items that are different colors and textures and be willing to try new things. Try to eat at least one serving from each of the following categories daily: dark green leafy vegetables; yellow or orange fruits and vegetables; red fruits and vegetables; beans and peas; and citrus fruits.
- Skip the starchy picks. We know potatoes can be tasty. But, it’s better to choose other vegetables that are packed with different nutrients and more slowly digested carbohydrates.
- Make it a meal. Try cooking new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads, soups, and stir-fries are just a few ideas for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals. Watch the Storehouse social media pages for meatless recipes!
For information on seasonal produce, this is a handy website: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide I’s a great guide that provides useful nutrition information on fruits and veggies. Not to mention, it covers storage, food facts and recipes. It’s simple to use. Just select the fruit or vegetable you’d like to learn more about. You’ll quickly be able to explore and learn about all kinds of produce.
You Make Fruits & Veggies Possible at the Storehouse
At the Storehouse, we have different kinds of fruits and vegetables all the time. Some of those are canned, to be sure. We are a food pantry and people come just one time a month, so they need items that last. However, we also provide fresh fruits and vegetables that change out with the season. In the summer months that means squash and tomatoes. Fall often includes apples. Of course, we rely on donations for many of our items, so we cannot guarantee we will have any particular items. We work with vendors to buy fresh items when we have the funding available. Your generous donations help us to get more fruits and vegetables for local people in need. (The same is true for meat and dairy products, so thank you!)
If you know of people who need food, be sure to share us as a resource. The Storehouse is here to help. All of the information about getting food can be found here: https://storehousenm.org/home/need-food/