Staying Healthy – Eating Colorful Fruits and Vegetables Provide Powerful Nutrients
Recipes and Nutrition Tips – Surprising Ways to Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Meals
Physical Activity Tips – Try These Exercise Hacks!
Food Access Resources – SNAP benefits Set to Increase
Eating fruits and vegetables is a colorful way to get powerful nutrients.
These nutritients may protect us from heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables provide these health benefits. All fruits and vegetables have fiber, which helps us feel full and keeps our digestive system healthy. Fill half your plate with all the colors of the rainbow to get these health benefits.
Red: heart health, memory function
Orange/yellow: heart health, strong immune system, eyesight, healing cuts
Green: strong bones and teeth, healthy vision
Blue/purple: brain and memory function, slower aging, protects cells from damage
White/brown: heart health, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol
Include your favorite colorful fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks. Adults should aim for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day.
Recipes and Nutrition Tips
Add vegetables in surprising ways.
April is a month of surprises! Surprise your family with new ways to add vegetables to your favorite meals. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which boost your immune system, keep your heart healthy, and aid in digestive health. Add vegetables in fun ways, such as pureed in sauces, added to omelets, or blended in a smoothie, or experiment with veggie noodles.
Do you have vegetables in your refrigerator or freezer and don’t know what do with them? Add them to a soup, like our Fish and Kale Stew! Or try this variation of Kale and White Bean Soup at https://video.link/w/z4yec from SNAP-Ed NY.
Physical Activity Tips
Are you a busy person who finds it hard to fit exercise into your daily routine? Start small by incorporating hacks to add physical activity to your day. Begin thinking about exercise in small manageable bits of time instead of chunks of time that need to be dedicated to workouts.
Try these fitness hacks:
- Add exercise to your daily routines. When brushing your teeth, do five squats.
- Be creative with how you move. Lunge from one room to the next.
- When cooking, use canned goods to do arm curls.
- Put on some music and dance with your kids.
For more ideas visit https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/nutrition-education-materials/physical-activity.
It is a great time to dust off your gardening gloves! Check out some ways to get your garden ready for spring.
- Clear out your garden beds to prepare them for spring bulbs and plants. Rake out dead weeds, leaves, and old mulch.
- Prune any plant’s dead growth and shape the plants for the coming season.
- Make sure your garden’s soil is ready for spring planting. Apply compost or fertilizer, which adds nutrients to the soil.
Food Access Resources in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits set to increase.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) increases monthly SNAP benefits up to $100 per household with funding from the American Rescue Plan. You may be eligible for the SNAP program which provides monthly food benefits for individuals and families who qualify.
Apply for SNAP benefits at https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov and learn more about recipes and healthy eating through SNAP education at https://www.mahealthyfoodsinasnap.org/healthy-foods.