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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

Use this easy trick to increase fruit & veggie intake to boost health

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Many of us have complained of increased weight gain while spending more time at home social distancing. A major factor is unhealthy snacking. It's easy to go for a bag of chips, cookies, or other high calorie foods while at home in close proximity to our kitchens. We've all been under more stress for a variety of reasons and this makes us want to consume more calorie rich foods as a compensation mechanism. Instead, try developing healthy snacking habits to curb weight gain during difficult times. Are you or your kids finding it difficult to get in enough fruits and vegetables? Try prepping your fruits and veggies using a mason jar!

By preparing and pre-slicing all your fruits and veggies for the busy work week you are more likely to go for fruits and veggies rather than an unhealthy snack. Think about it: If you are on the go and don't have much time will you sit there and wash, peel, or slice a piece of fruit/veggie or rather just grab the most convenient thing like a bag of chips or some other packaged good? Make a small adjustment to your dietary habits and this will pay off in the long run. Also, pre-sliced, store bought fruit and veggies are very expensive so you will save money by doing the preparations yourself. Of note sometimes the pre-sliced goods are not even organic yet highly overpriced! Last, the design of the mason jar allows you to just grab and go. I have significantly increased my fruit and veggie intake at work by using mason jars. I just grab and go in the morning and my day is more likely to be a healthy one. The workplace is full of negative temptations and you will be less likely to give in to negative temptations if you are fueled on fruits and veggies as your snack.

"By preparing and pre-slicing all your fruits and veggies for the busy work week you are more likely to go for fruits and veggies rather than an unhealthy snack." -Dr Damien Hansra MD

What's the bottom line?

Most of us don't eat enough of the recommended fruits and vegetables (1). Fruits and vegetables are an important source of fiber which keeps you full and promotes #weight-loss (1-6). Other important benefits of fruits and vegetables include:

- Improved #gastrointestinal health (1,3,5, 6)

- Prevention of #cardiovascular disease (1-5,6)

- Prevention type 2 #diabetes (1,4,6)

- Prevention of #stroke and neurologic disorders (2,6)

- Prevention of #metabolic syndrome (1,5)

- Prevention of high #cholesterol (1,3,5)

- Prevention of high #blood-pressure (2,3,5,6)

- Prevention of certain #cancers (1-3,6 )

- Enhanced #immunity (6)

- Improved eye health (6)

- Decreased body inflammation (6)

Fruits and vegetables also have high vitamin content such as vitamin A, C (5,6), minerals and electrolytes (5) and phytochemicals (5). Furthermore a sufficient intake of fruits and vegetable (>5 servings a day) is associated with a lower chance of premature death (6).

Go ahead and get some mason jars to help you with your food preparations and increase the likelihood of you and your family of consuming fruits and veggies. This is part of a larger concept of the importance of dietary changes on health. We've all heard the term: " You can't exercise your way out of a bad diet" meaning that YES exercise is very important but DIETARY factors are more important in determining your overall health. You are what you eat!

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1) Dreher ML. Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects. Nutrients. 2018;10(12):1833.

2) Van Duyn MA, Pivonka E. Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000;100(12):1511-1521.

3) Pem D, Jeewon R. Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Benefits and Progress of Nutrition Education Interventions- Narrative Review Article. Iran J Public Health. 2015;44(10):1309-1321.

4) Amiot-Carlin MJ. Consommation des fruits et légumes : quels avantages, quels risques ? [Fruit and vegetable consumption: what benefits, what risks?]. Rev Prat. 2019;69(2):139-142.

5) Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(4):506-516. Published 2012 Jul 1.

6) Wallace TC, Bailey RL, Blumberg JB, Burton-Freeman B, Chen CO, Crowe-White KM, Drewnowski A, Hooshmand S, Johnson E, Lewis R, Murray R, Shapses SA, Wang DD. Fruits, vegetables, and health: A comprehensive narrative, umbrella review of the science and recommendations for enhanced public policy to improve intake. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(13):2174-2211.


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