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When It Comes to Fruits and Veggies, More Matters!

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It has been said for many years that "an apple a day will keep the doctor away", but an ever-growing body of research suggests that an apple may not be enough. If you want a healthy lifestyle, coupled with maximum protection against disease and chronic illness, your well-being may depend on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Currently, over 90% of Americans fail to consume the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but if you did not know how much to consume, you are not alone. That's why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports the Half-Your-Plate concept, a science-based, government recommendation to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables during every meal or snack.

In Houston, the need for a healthy, balanced diet is even greater, as Men's Fitness magazine recently rated the Bayou City as the nation's fattest. The Texas Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program is fighting back by providing local communities with the tools to educate themselves about the dangers of leaving fruits and vegetables off of those heaping plates. Texas schools have also gotten in on the act by taking action to reduce the added sugar and empty calories in school lunches. More fruits and vegetables have been introduced in their stead to provide the energy that students need, while increasing their health and wellness.

Fruits & Veggies--More Matters, a health initiative focused on helping people increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, is also a resource to help understand the benefits of doing so. The website contains recipes and research, along with ideas to help you make cost-efficient, healthy choices that will benefit your body and your budget.

Downtown Houston will see the return of the popular City Hall Farmers Market on Wednesdays from September 18th through December 18th from 11 am - 1:30 pm at 901 Bagby, in front of City Hall. If you cannot make it to that location, resources such as Urban Harvest and Green Houston can provide information on farmers markets and other healthy resources close to you.

The "apple a day..." saying may be outdated but you still "are what you eat". Don't miss an opportunity to find out more about making a lifestyle change with proven short- and long-term benefits. You may be amazed at how easy it is to add to your health, increase your savings, and add great tasting staples to your diet.

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