By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Every time I eat a meal or snack, I aim to add some produce to it, whether that means topping my Greek yogurt with berries or pairing carrot sticks and grape tomatoes with my guacamole. Produce is delicious (and beautiful — look at these pretty tomatoes I found on a recent trip to the Portland Farmers Market!). Many fruits and veggies, like broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, apples, and strawberries, are 0 SmartPoints® value foods!
An eating pattern that’s rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to be fantastic for our health, and new research in PLOS One reveals that having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand may provide a short-term boost to our psychological well-being, too. In the small preliminary study, young adults ages 18 to 25 who were eating three or fewer daily servings of fruits and vegetables were asked to continue their current diet — and were provided with an additional two servings of fresh produce to add to their regular eating pattern or were asked to take part in an intervention in which they received a voucher to purchase produce as well as receive text message reminders to eat more produce. This intervention lasted for two weeks.
After the two-week period, the people who were provided with the extra fresh fruit and veggies (compared to the people who were just reminded to eat fresh produce daily and given a voucher to purchase it) reported more motivation, vitality, curiosity, and creativity, although there were no decreases in depression or anxiety. So keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand in your kitchen: Use produce like broccoli and onions to bulk up stir-fries, add a berry boost to oatmeal, and increase your snacking on fruits and vegetables!
What are your favorite ways to eat fruits and veggies? What benefits do you notice from eating them? Tell me on Connect @amy_gorin!
Read more posts from The Eat List.
Amy Gorin is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ. She also works as a nutrition consultant and media coach. Amy is the former Senior Editor of Weight Watchers Magazine and WeightWatchers.com and has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and health. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.