Shoot For “5 A Day” in May

19 05 2014

We all know that fruits and vegetables are very important to our health, but the fact is that Americans are consuming much less than is recommended. The “5 a Day” campaign was

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

launched in 1991 to help improve fruit and vegetable consumption in the US for better health, nutrient intake, and to possibly help decrease the risk of certain diseases. 5 servings is actually the targeted minimum, with an overall goal of 5 to 9 servings per day. Getting the minimum of 5 a day doesn’t seem that difficult , does it?

Well, apparently it is. According to the CDC, in 2009 only 32.5% of adults consumed 2 or more servings of fruit per day and only 26.3% consumed 3 or more servings of vegetables per day. In the 2013 State Indicator Report from the CDC, we see that 47.2% of West Virginia’s adults consume fruit less than once a day, and 26.2% consume vegetables less than once a day! Unfortunately, our adolescents in West Virginia are following in our footsteps. 37.8% of them consume fruit less than once a day and 34.9% eat vegetables less than once a day.

Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been noted to help reduce the risk for many leading causes of death and can play an important role in weight management. And with over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables available to us, there is a world of health benefits at our fingertips!

Why eat more fruits and vegetables? They offer color, texture and interest to our meals. They make convenient and quick snacks (think of an apple or pear: wash, eat…how easy is that?). They are nutrient rich, in other words, power packed with nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber and water) for very few calories. And best of all, they are DELICIOUS!

For some great information and tips for including more fruits and veggies in your diet, check out this great newsletter from Erika Ford, RD, LD and her team with the West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

WVAND Newsletter May 2014

 

So aim for 5 a day today! Here are some great recipes to get you started…..

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wraps

Makes 4 wraps

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini cut lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices

2 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

Pinch of fresh ground pepper

1 cup store bought hummus (plain or any flavor you prefer)

4 whole wheat wraps (~8-9” diameter)

1/4c pine nuts (or any nuts you prefer like sliced almonds)

2 jarred, roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and quartered

2c lightly packed baby spinach leaves

1/2c red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

1/4c fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the grill or your grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly browned, about 4 minutes each side.

Spread 1/4c of your hummus over each wrap. Sprinkle 1Tbsp of nuts on top. Top with 3 slices of zucchini, 2 pieces of red pepper, 1/2c of spinach leaves and a few sliced onions. Add a tablespoon of mint leaves if you like. Roll each of them up and cut in half to serve.

Nutrition facts per wrap:

320 calories, 15g fat, 2g saturated fat, 6g monounsaturated fat, 6g polyunsaturated fat, 12g protein, 42g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 795mg sodium. (*to reduce sodium, omit salt and check the labels on your hummus, wrap, and jarred peppers for lower sodium products)

Source: “The Food You Crave: Recipes for a Healthy Life” by Ellie Krieger, MS, RD

 

Apple Sandoodles:

Makes 4 sandoodles

Ingredients:

1 large apple of choice (gala, golden delicious, johnathan, etc)

2 Tbsp seedless raisins

2 tsp creamy peanut butter

1 tsp cinnamon sugar

You will need:

Apple corer

Cutting board

Knife

Measuring spoons

Plates

Here’s how:

Core the apple. Slice into 8 slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one side of an apple slice.

Sprinkle with a few raisins, then top with another apple slice.

Sprinkle the top of your sandoodle with a little cinnamon sugar.

Continue assembling your sandoodles until all the apple slices have been used.

 Nutrition facts per sandoodle: 125 calories, 3G fat, .5g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrate, 3G fiber, 2g protein, 30mg sodium

Source: The Dole 5 A Day Cookbook

 

And for great tips on fruit and vegetable storage, check out www.fruitandvegetablesmorematters.org and this link: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fruit-and-vegetable-storage-101

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