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Explore the benefits of veggies on National Eat Your Vegetables Day

The following sponsored content is provided by Prisma Health.

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and what better time to explore their benefits than during June when we celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month and today, June 17, which is National Eat Your Vegetables Day.

With summer upon us, there are plenty of in-season vegetables and fruits to enjoy. Farmers markets across the Upstate are in full swing, bringing local produce to your table.

The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables this season makes it easy to eat your way to better health. Upping the amount of produce on your plate can help you slim down, and according to one study, people who eat eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day are 30 percent less likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

Here are a few ideas to put more fruits and veggies in your diet

• Try crunchy veggies with hummus instead of chips or crackers.
• Put more vegetables on your pizza.
• Cut up your favorite fruit and freeze to make smoothies.
• Create fruit kabobs; raw or grilled.
• Make fruit sauces for chicken, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, and seafood.
• Stock freezer with frozen vegetables to have sides for dinner.
• Add veggies to your egg white omelet.
• Make fruit your dessert.

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Plan ahead to stay on track

What veggies and fruits do you want to eat this week? Buy only what you will eat to avoid waste. Try these simple ideas:

• Put vegetables in your smoothies.
• Cut up veggies. Pack in individual baggies so they’re ready to grab and go.
• Add fruit to your breakfast in oatmeal, cereal or yogurt.
• Put ripe fruit in a bowl so it’s easy to grab and go.
• Freeze grapes to use as ice cubes, then eat them as a snack.
• Stir extra veggies into soups.
• Keep dried fruit in your car or purse for busy days when a breather is just not an option.
• Add more veggies and less meat on your pizza.
• Add veggies on your sandwiches.
• Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet, or pile the whole scramble on your favorite bread, tortilla, or bagel for a booster breakfast sandwich.

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