Helping our patients eat clean is a top priority here at Shakthi Health and Wellness, but September marks two special occasions to recommit to eating the best we possibly can.
The first is the Fruits & Vegetables More Matters Month. Promoted by the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBHF), More Matters Month was created to remind us all to eat more fruits and vegetables. According to the website, the majority of adults and children do not eat a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables as prescribed by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Want to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet? It’s actually quite easy. Here are a few of our top tips:
- Sneak them into your meals: We particularly like to sneak in kale or spinach into our fruit smoothies, adding fruit to our yogurt, or even adding extra greens into mixed grain dishes.
- Make healthy desserts: One way to add extra fruit into your diet is to add them to your desserts. So, instead of eating ice cream, you might make a mixed berry parfait with yogurt, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries (or any other fruit you have on hand). Also, since we?re in Fall, it’s a great time to get fresh-picked apples from a local orchard. Core them and bake them in the oven with a sprinkling of cinnamon is a great way to enjoy seasonal fruit harvest.
- Snacks for the whole family: Veggie crisps are one of the easiest things to make. Simply slice your favorite vegetable (we like zucchini, but carrots, beets and kale also work), spead them onto a flat baking sheet, season with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then pop them into a 400 F oven for about 20 minutes until crisp.
What goes great with more fruits and vegetables? Whole grains! Luckily, September is also Whole Grains Month. Promoted by the Oldways Whole Grains Council, Whole Grains Month not only promotes healthy, clean eating, it also is working to combat food insecurity. As part of the promotion, the council will be donating whole grain foods to charities that fight food insecurity. You can nominate your favorite charity here.
Here are some ideas to work more whole grains into your diet:
- Serve bulgur or brown rice instead of potatoes with dinner.
- If you buy breakfast cereal, look for one that has at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving.
- Cook a pot of steel-cut oatmeal.
- Make pizzas with whole wheat pizza crusts.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of regular flour in your favorite recipes.
Looking for ideas for healthier eating in September and beyond? Schedule a visit with one our integrative medicine doctors and we’ll develop a personalized plan to ensure you get as much nutrition out of every bite as you can!