Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories. They are also rich in important vitamins and antioxidants! No single fruit or vegetable solely supplies all of the ingredients you need to be healthy. Instead, teach your kids to eat a variety, making their plate a rainbow of rich colors. Fruits and vegetables can be eaten with meals, on the go, or even thrown into smoothies that kids will love!
We know that consuming fruits and vegetables is important for living a healthy lifestyle, but getting kids to eat them is usually easier said than done. According to a study by Harvard University, people that eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each week have a 20% lower risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. Heart health is essential for a healthy lifestyle – here are a list of some of the best fruits and vegetables for your heart:
Best Fruits & Vegetables: Strawberries
This tasty fruit provides many health benefits. Strawberries can help reduce cholesterol as well as stress that can lead to cardiovascular disease. According to Organic Lifestyle Magazine, those who eat at least 500 grams of fresh strawberries every day can reduce their “bad cholesterol” levels by as much as 13%.
Sneak Them In: Use them as a “funny face” pancake nose that kids will love!
Best Fruits & Vegetables: Leafy Greens
Greens can be tough to get children to eat, but they provide exceptional benefits for a healthy heart. Livestrong states that dark leafy green vegetables like salad greens, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens can help control blood pressure.
Sneak Them In: Add spinach and collard greens to scrambled eggs with cheese or hidden in smoothies!
Best Fruits & Vegetables: Broccoli
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is full of sulforaphane. It helps reduce risk factors of cardiovascular disease as well as high blood pressure. Other cruciferous vegetables you might want to consider adding to your family’s diet include cabbage and cauliflower, as they can reduce inflammation and the damaging effects that free radicals can cause for your heart.
Sneak Them In: Chop finely and add to macaroni and cheese, or crisp them in the oven with a ranch dip on the side.
Best Fruits & Vegetables: Sweet Potatoes
Thanks to their sweet taste, yams and sweet potatoes might not be as difficult to get your children to eat. Sweet potatoes are actually superfoods that are high in fiber, beta carotene, vitamin B6 and potassium. These vitamins and minerals can reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce cholesterol, and regulate the digestive system.
Sneak Them In: Sweet potatoes taste great in healthy, kid-friendly breakfast bake!
Best Fruits & Vegetables: Raisins
Those packs of raisins in your cupboard are actually a great after-school snack. Did you know that they are great for reducing blood pressure? According to a recent study, participants were able to lower their blood pressure by as much as 7% when they ate raisins as a snack. These tiny dried grapes are also a good source of potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
Sneak Them In: Raisins are great additions to oatmeal, banana bread, and other tasty snacks.
Do you and your family eat these beneficial fruits and vegetables on a regular basis?