Should your family be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet? We think so – and so do our friends at Dole! That’s why we’re proud to share the news that Dole has just launched its Get Up and Grow! North American tour to promote fresh fruit and produce and healthy living.
The tour will bring an expanded version of Dole’s popular mobile fruit and vegetable feast and nutritional celebration to 480 supermarkets and special events spread across 45 cities in 25 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces through September. The 115-day, 11,700-mile journey is a collaboration of Dole Fresh Fruit of Westlake Village, Calif., Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, Calif., and the Kannapolis, N.C.-based Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI). It is co-sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk. (Click on “Tour” on the Get Up and Grow page to view the latest tour dates and times.)
At the tour stops, you’ll see Get Up and Grow! caravans with rolling kitchens that will offer new recipes, product samples, a do-it-yourself smoothie bar, giveaways and more. Visitors can also present a grocery receipt showing a qualifying level of Dole fresh purchases to receive a limited-edition, commemorative Get Up and Grow! item.
And here’s something new: Dole has created an online Get Up and Grow! pledge that allows visitors to create their personal pledge page where they can commit to living healthier in 2015, eating more fruits and vegetables and setting their own health and happiness goals. Those who return to their page to track their goals throughout the year will have the chance to receive free Fitbits; Dole fresh fruits, vegetables and salads; and other rewards. All pledge-takers will automatically receive a regular stream of health and nutrition tips from DNI…and one lucky participant will win a special wellness getaway with medical, nutrition, fitness and life balance instruction, and spa services.
In honor of the tour, we thought we’d share these amazing fun facts about fruits and veggies, courtesy of the Dole Nutrition Institute and Jenn LaVardera, MS, RD, nutrition and health communications manager for the Dole Food Company:
Asparagus and salad greens contain folates, which have been linked to lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia in women.
Bananas are North America’s most popular produce, and are one of the most-purchased single supermarket items in the world. They come in colors ranging from dark green to yellow to bright red.
Blueberries are little wonders of nutrition but they also have great aspirations for the future: Researchers are looking to use them to protect astronauts against the radiation-induced free-radical damage experienced during extended space flight.
Broccoli contains the indirect antioxidant sulforaphane, which has been found to reduce production of free radicals by 73%, protecting blood vessels from damage that quadruples the risk of heart disease.
Cauliflower contains glucosinolates, which may trigger your body’s own natural defense systems. Canadian scientists found that men with prostate cancer who ate cauliflower more than once per week cut their risk of the cancer turning aggressive by more than 50%.
Celery contains apigenin, a compound that may prove an ally in the crusade against breast cancer. Scientists from the University of Missouri demonstrated that apigenin delayed onset of tumors by 38%.
Cucumbers have an exceptionally high water content greater than 95%, which causes the inside of the vegetable to be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature.
Grapefruit can help with weight loss: Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that people who ate half a grapefruit with every meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lose 3.3 pounds.
Kiwi fruit contains more than the Daily Value of vitamin C and is a heart-healthy food. Eating two to three kiwis a day can even significantly lower blood clot risk.
Pineapples are the only source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been proved to reduce inflammation, provide pain relief and help skin injuries heal faster. It may even alleviate asthma symptoms.
Spinach may be one of the healthiest foods on earth, supporting six body systems: heart, eyes, brain, skin, bones and immunity. Popeye’s favorite food may even help maintain mental sharpness and reduce risk of certain cancers, according to preliminary research.
Strawberries promote heart health. In a study from the University of Toronto, patients at risk for heart disease saw a 13% drop in bad LDL cholesterol after adding three cups of strawberries to their diets. Strawberries also support brain function and are high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese.
Is your mouth watering yet? Keep your eye out this summer for lots more about fruits and veggies – here at Jolly Tomato, and at Get Up and Grow!
Blogger disclosure: I am serving as an ambassador for Dole for 2015; all opinions expressed are my own.