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The Have a Plant Program, sponsored by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, is a national initiative to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that Americans eat. Fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Most people need to double the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat every day. Any fruit or vegetable counts toward a serving. This includes frozen, fresh, canned, dried or dehydrated fruit, or juice.
Eating the correct amount of fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and macular degeneration of the eyes. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in certain fruits and vegetables are showing promising results in preventing free radicals or cancer-causing agents from damaging cells.
Here are some ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:
Drink 100% fruit or vegetable juice with breakfast. Or eat homemade fresh fruit cocktail.
Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Throw in some veggies to add even more nutrients.
Have a fruit salad, a piece of fruit, or baby carrots instead of potato chips with a sandwich.
Have vegetable soup or a garden salad with low-fat dressing as an appetizer.
Stock up on dried, plain, frozen (without added sauces and seasonings), and canned fruits (packed in 100% juice or water) and vegetables (low-sodium or no-added sodium versions).
Set fruits and vegetables in bowls in the kitchen, making them more visible.
Have microwaved vegetables with dinner.
Take pre-washed cut snacks of fruit and vegetables with you to work or when you're out and about.
Choose fresh fruit prepared in a fun way as dessert.
At your next visit to the grocery store, reach for apples and carrots for snacks instead of cookies and chips. For more convenience, choose precut or individually packaged fruits and vegetables. Try raw baby carrots, bagged pre-sliced apples, fruit cups, small boxes of raisins, or bagged salads.
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