Adding More Fruit to Your DietWith the wonderful selection of fruit in grocery stores, at farmers markets, produce stands and in our gardens, it is a great time to think about eating more fruit.
Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemical. They are also low in fat and sodium. Fruit is also a good source of fiber. Fruit intake is linked to health benefits including reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.Suggested fruit intake is 1 ½ cups per day for women and 2 cups for men each day.
Here are some tips for increasing your fruit intake.
· A study from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab shows that slicing fruit for students in elementary schools can increase fruit sales by 71%! According to interviews conducted with students, there are two main reasons that students prefer cut fruit: 1) Braces and missing teeth make it difficult to bite into whole fruits. 2) Older girls reported that it was unattractive to bite into whole fruit. Cutting fruit not only increases sales but also increases consumption and decreases waste! The study found that the number of students that ate over half of their pre-sliced apple increased by 73%!
· Drink your fruit in a smoothie rather than juice. Juice tends to lack fiber. Smoothies typically contain fruit and yogurt so getting needed calcium is another benefit.
· Add fruits to summer salads. Greens, fresh berries, and cooked chicken with a raspberry or poppy seed salad dressing make a tasty, healthy entrée.
· Add fruits to quick breads, muffins, cooked oatmeal and yogurt. Berries make a great topping for pancakes or waffles.