From pitching tents to gathering twigs, you need energy while camping. You can boost that energy by setting goals to eat more fruits and vegetables—ideally, the five to nine servings that nutritionists suggest. Some experts call it “eating low on the food chain”; and it packs a rich supply of benefits for energy, wellness and health.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Supports weight loss by keeping appetites in check
- Reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, digestive problems and some cancers
- Fights fatigue by releasing energy slowly, instead of that sugar rush
- Sharpens eyesight—it’s true! Especially vitamin-rich veggies like spinach, kale, sweet potatoes and (yes) carrots.
Take advantage of farmer’s markets, supermarkets, and salad bars as you navigate campgrounds and country this summer. When it comes to packing produce for the great outdoors, here are a few tips:
- Fruits with staying power to last a few days without denting, browning or molding include apples, cherries and blueberries. Plus, they're not a mess to peel or clean up--just wash and serve. Bananas last a couple of days, but require a bit more TLC. If you have time, store a fruit salad of melons, pineapple, peaches and strawberries in a plastic container. The flavors will mingle to keep each other fresh.
- Dry fruit is a champion: portable, compact and low-maintenance, supplying a quick dose of energy to boot. Mix raisins or Craisins with nuts, yogurt, oatmeal or dry cereal; or enjoy right from the bag.
- Baby carrots and cherry tomatoes spell veggie victory. Add cucumber slices to dip into salad dressings; dip celery sticks in humus. Onions travel well to be chopped into one pot or pan dinners. And potatoes keep well for days, ready to support everything from breakfast hash browns to dinner casserole.
- Canned veggies travel well and don't need cooler space. Green beans, corn, peas, black beans and mixed vegetables play well with noodle, pasta and potato-centered one-pot meals.