How many portions of fresh veggies does it take to keep a person healthy? Five portions a day? Seven? Ten? And what makes up a portion?
Nutritionists agree, when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, the average person simply is not getting enough in their regular diet. An increase in daily consumption of vegetables (and fruits) is the entire point of the day.
Get ready to make a healthy change on Fresh Veggies Day! This is the ideal opportunity to invite family, friends, and neighbors around for a fun and surprising meat-free feast!
History of Fresh Veggies Day
Fresh Veggies Day is celebrated in early summer when the tastiest new-season vegetables started to become plentiful. It’s a great kickoff to the rest of the summer, acting as a reminder to look out for fresh, local vegetables to add to the table all throughout the season. In fact, the entire month of June is known by some as Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, so that gives plenty of time to create new habits!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), individuals should eat at a minimum of 400 grams of vegetables and fruit each day (this doesn’t count as super-starchy tubers like potatoes). This has turned into a 5-a-Day program that has gone through various versions in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and other countries.
Farmers and growers are certainly happy to get on board with Fresh Veggies Day, offering the best of everything they have in season at the moment. But don’t stop there! Be sure to get into the spirit of the day by eating fresh veggies all throughout the year as the growing season permits. Plus, extras can be frozen to make it through the winter!
How to Celebrate Fresh Veggies Day
Getting into the celebration of Fresh Veggies Day is a pretty simple idea that might take a little planning but is totally worth it. Do something enjoyable, delicious, and extremely healthy for the family, like these activities:
Head Out to a Farmers’ Market
While keeping at least one eye on the weather, take a trip to a local farmers’ market or specialist food store and stock up on whatever happens to be ripe – along with some free recipe ideas. Also, it’s super fun to actually speak to the person who grew those vegetables! There will also likely be other local businesses represented at a farmers’ market, such as bakers, honey harvesters, jam makers, local coffee roasters and much more. It’s a fun way to support local businesses and be healthy in the process.
Go to a U-Pick Veggies Farm
For some early crops, it may even be possible to go to a farm and pick your own. Why not get some friends together and plan a day out? Depending on the particular location, you-pick farms may have seasonal offerings that include fresh foods such as asparagus, peas, tomatoes and more. Fruit is a very popular U-pick food as well, often offering apples, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb and much more.
Not sure where to find a U-pick farm in a nearby location? Make use of this little online tool to see if it provides options that are easily accessible and local.
Get Fresh Veggies Delivered
Going to a local farmers’ market or U-Pick Farm can be a lot of fun, but if it’s hard to access, then consider having fresh fruits and vegetables delivered right to your door. Most cities and towns offer produce delivery services which are great for the health as well as for the earth.
Some of them pick out less-than-perfect-looking vegetables that arrive at the door looking less than beautiful but saving the earth by avoiding a ton of waste. Imperfect Foods, Misfit Market, The Chef’s Garden, and Farmbox Direct are just a few of the range of produce delivery services that have become popular in recent years. Check online to see what’s available based on location.
Grow a Garden in the Backyard
Of course, most gardeners will confess that nothing beats the pride, satisfaction and taste of home-grown vegetables. Seed clubs and gardening forums make it easy, and affordable for a person to cultivate their own weird and wonderful varieties of fresh vegetables.
People who want to lengthen the growing season and get a jumpstart can begin earlier in the spring by sowing seeds in small containers inside. Then, when the weather warms in the local area, these little seedlings can be moved outside.
There is hardly anything tastier than eating a vegetable or fruit from a garden that you have personally grown!
Eat a Selection of Fresh Veggies
Keeping a variety of fresh veggies around the house is the best way to make sure enough are eaten each day. After bringing them home from the store, it might be helpful to cut or chop them right away so they’re simple to grab as a snack without much preparation. Some of the healthiest veggies on the planet are:
- Spinach. This superfood is packed with nutrients. One cup of raw, fresh spinach provides more than half of the daily allowance of Vitamin A, and 100% of the daily requirement for Vitamin K. It’s also high in beta carotene and lutein, which are super useful antioxidants.
- Carrots. With more than 400% of the daily allowance of Vitamin A, carrots are pretty far at the top of the list, healthwise. Plus, they’re easy to grow, simple to store, and last a long time. There are even some studies that show people who eat carrots regularly may reduce their risk of cancer!
- Broccoli. Fresh, dark greens are so healthy for the human body, and broccoli is no exception. It’s filled with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese, folic acid and potassium.
Check out the My Plate Website and App
For more information on which vegetables offer the best nutrition and health benefits, visit the My Plate website. The program offers information on how much a ‘serving’ of vegetable contains, what the suggestions are for a person from different age groups, and even how to count beans and lentils!
To make things even simpler, there’s even an app that can be downloaded to help track healthy eating habits on the go with a smartphone or smartwatch.
Try Out Some New Recipes
If it’s hard to imagine adding veggies to meals, perhaps, look for inspiration by sharing new recipes. The Mediterranean Diet is considered to be one of the most healthy on earth, and many recipes can be found that include unprocessed fresh veggies. The meal plan often includes grilling vegetables, such as tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, kale, spinach, onions, and more in olive oil and pairing with healthy meats such as fresh fish or even putting them on sandwiches.
When it comes to Fresh Veggies Day, there’s no end to the way vegetables can be included in meals–not just on this day but every day!