Selection of various healthy foods, meat, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, greens and vegetables.

Tips for Healthy Eating

A young girl wearing a blue shirt and eating a plate of salad.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Healthy Tip #1 - Veggies

Start your meal with vegetables first. You will feel full sooner and ensure that you get valuable vegetable nutrients.

Red, purple, yellow and orange whole carrots

Healthy Tip #2 - Carrots

Looking for a healthy snack? Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables around the world. Did you know that more than 25 years ago, ARS scientists began a quest to breed carrots packed with beta-carotene? That’s the orange pigment in carrots and it’s used by the body to create vitamin A. Today, many carrot varieties have 75% more beta-carotene.

Whether they are orange, red, yellow or purple, they are a nutritious and healthy snack.

Strawberries growing on a vine

Healthy Tip #3 - Strawberries

What’s your favorite fruit? If you said strawberries, did you know that strawberries are low in calories, very rich in antioxidants and are an excellent source of vitamin C? Strawberries are a healthy snack option and has benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.

Did you know that ARS once saved the strawberry industry? In the 1950s, ARS came to the rescue by releasing the first varieties that could survive a root-rotting fungus called red steele. We didn’t stop there. Since then, ARS has bred and released dozens of strawberry cultivars that can stand up to the many challenges growers face such as insects, diseases, short growing seasons, and the rigors of harvest and transport.

Instead of reaching for a sugary beverage or treat have a serving of sweet, juicy, and delicious strawberries.


Melon balls in a glass bowl

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Healthy Tip #4 - Melon

Mmm…! Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are refreshing and good for you. They help you hydrate, provide you with a variety of nutrients and have numerous health benefits.

An ARS scientist in Wyndmoor, PA, developed a cool technology that steam-cleans cantaloupes and reduces pathogens. The successful technology may also be used to sanitize watermelon, honeydew melons, cucumbers and carrots.

Here’s an idea, try having melon balls or pop a chunk of the delicious fruit on a popsicle stick, freeze it and enjoy a cool and healthy treat for dessert.

Two Empire apples growing on a tree.

Empire apples (Photo by Peggy Greb, D4040-1)

Healthy Tip #5 - Apples

Apples are a delicious snack and incredibly good for you. Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh – no matter your taste preference, there’s an apple just for you.  With such a variety to pick from, you will be doing your body a favor when you eat them. Some health benefits commonly associated with apples include moderating blood sugar levels and blood pressure, boosting vitamin C, reducing cholesterol, supporting brain function, and promoting good health.

At ARS, we love apples too, which is why our researchers are developing very cool innovations to ensure the apples in your grocery store or farmer’s market are fresh, tasty, and high quality. We are breeding apple rootstocks that are more resistant to pests and diseases, that bear more delicious fruit, and are more ideal for apple growers to pick and prune.

You can find apples everywhere, even at McDonald’s. Back in 2004, ARS scientists and their partner developed and patented a coating that keeps peeled apples from browning without changing their texture or flavor. This technology helps McDonald’s provide their customers with wrapped apples that are still crispy and tasty. 

Want to learn more? Put your earphones on and listen to this fun and tasty apple podcast.