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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fruit Kabobs with Lime Dip



4 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon or lime yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

4 to 6 pineapple chunks
4 to 6 watermelon chunks 
4 to 6 strawberries sliced
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (optional dipped in lemon juice to avoid browning)
4 to 6 red grapes and green
4 wooden skewers

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread one of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until all fruits are used. Serve with lime dip.
Eat your fruits and vegetables, one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. And for good reason. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss.

 Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.  Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) make important contributions. 

 Individuals who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per had roughly a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease , and stroke, compared with individuals who ate less than 3 servings per day.

High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. As such, it's a condition that is important to control. Diet can be a very effective tool for lowering blood pressure, eating fruits and vegetables can help lower it by various studies.
Numerous early studies revealed what appeared to be a strong link between eating fruits and vegetables and protection against cancer.
The Bottom Line: Recommendations for Vegetable and Fruit Intake
Vegetables and fruits are clearly an important part of a good diet. Almost everyone can benefit from eating more of them, but variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. The key lies in the variety of different vegetables and fruits that you eat.
Keep fruit out where you can see it. That way you'll be more likely to eat it. Keep it out on the counter or in the front of the fridge.
Get some every meal, every day. Try filling half your plate with vegetables or fruit at each meal. Serving up salads, stir fry, or other fruit and vegetable-rich fare makes it easier to reach this goal. Bonus points if you can get some fruits and vegetables at snack time, too.
Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety is the key to a healthy diet. Get out of a rut and try some new fruits and vegetables—include dark green leafy vegetables; yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables; cooked tomatoes; and citrus fruits.
Bag the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbs.
Make it a meal. Try some new recipes where vegetables take center stage