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by Original content by Julian Carpenter, Independence County | adapted for blog by
Torrie Smith, Carroll County
Are you looking for a way to be healthier this year without making extreme and complicated
resolutions? I have just the suggestion for you. Eat more fruits and vegetables! The
CDC reports only 1 in 10 American adults are eating enough fruits and vegetables.
Only 10% of us!
You may wonder why it’s so important to eat more fruits and vegetables. These colorful
foods can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers
and even obesity. And if that’s not enough of a reason, you might like that they can
be tasty and easy to prepare.
The best rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow, meaning to make the foods you eat as
colorful as possible. Fruits and vegetables come in all shapes and colors including
red, yellow, orange, white and purple. A rainbow of colors means you are consuming
different vitamins and minerals which are an important part of our diet. MyPlate
recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables, or more specifically, aim
to eat 5 total cups per day.
It is typically not too challenging to consume enough fruits because they are naturally
sweet and tasty but eating more vegetables can seem a little more daunting. Below
is a simple recipe for brussels sprouts from our Mediterranean Diet curriculum. Even if you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, consider giving these a try because
they are delicious. The key is making sure they are shredded or thinly sliced.
1½ lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 Tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
For more information, contact your local Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at your
County Extension Office.
Mediterranean Diet curriculum