FRANKLIN — September is National Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month. Adding more fruits and vegetables to a person's plate can help them lose weight, lower the risk of some cancers, and improve heart health. Apples do all those things. A 2005 study in the 'Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease' found that aged mice who received apple juice concentrate performed better than their peers in memory tests, likely from the antioxidant benefits of apples.

This should encourage everyone to make plant-based eating a regular meal choice. If apples can do all this, and more, for health, think of how powerful meals can be when different kinds of fruits and vegetables are incorporated into every meal.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, as shoppers can pick what’s on sale in the local vegetable section, and frozen vegetables are cost efficient and picked at the peak of their freshness before being frozen. If canned fruits and vegetables are a more accessible option, look at the label to avoid high amounts of sodium or sugar.

Find new recipes with an internet search or a trip to the library. Several recipes have been developed for sneaking vegetables into a dish for picky kids, or adults, that are meant to hide rather than showcase their power-packed vegetable ingredients.

Scientific research and taste buds agree, adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to meals can benefit, from the wallet to the waistline, and help keep everyone healthy and strong in the process.

For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at 603-934-3454, or visit www.FranklinVNA.org.

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