Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier foods? Start with adding plenty of fruit to your diet. Eating fruit provides many health benefits. People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.
Fruits provide nutrients vital for health, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories, and none has cholesterol. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as a part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
1. Keep visible reminders.
Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
2. Think about taste.
Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor. Add fruits to sweeten a recipe.
3. Think about variety.
Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
4. Don’t forget the fiber.
Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit, rather than juice, for the benefits that dietary fiber provides.
5. Be a good role model.
Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks.
6. Include fruit at breakfast.
At breakfast, top your cereal with bananas, peaches, or strawberries; add blueberries to pancakes; drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try a fruit mixed with fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
7. Try fruit at lunch.
At lunch, pack a tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat, or choose fruits from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.
8. Experiment with fruit at dinner, too.
At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections, dried cranberries, or grapes in a tossed salad.
9. Snack on fruits.
Dried fruits make great snacks. They are easy to carry and store well.
10. Keep fruits safe.
Rinse fruits before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub fruits briskly to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. After rinsing, dry with a clean towel.