You know the drill: Eat more fruits and vegetables! Time and time again you’re told to stock up on your fruits and vegetables, but sometimes it’s just so hard to get in the recommended amount.
Health benefits of fruits and vegetables are extensive. Not only do they provide vitamins and minerals key for essential nutrition, but they also provide antioxidants to help you feel and look young for years.
If you’re having a hard time getting in enough fruits and vegetables, try some of these easy tips that will ensure you start feeding yourself more of the good stuff.
Sneak them in: An easy way to eat more fruits and vegetables is to sneak them into your meals. Add vegetables to sauces, meatloaf and use fruit as dessert swaps. This is a good trick for picky eaters – they won’t even notice the difference! You can easily shred carrots or zucchini and add them into your prized recipes.
Take a dip: Fruits and vegetables make for an easy and nutritious snack, but if eating them plain turns you off, try a dip. Healthy dip options include hummus or even Greek yogurt. Not only will this improve the flavor, but you can get added benefits as well. Just make sure you’re not opting for an overly processed artificial dip.
Spread it and forget it: Many fruits and vegetables can be made into spreads, making them super easy to add into sandwiches. (Hint: Give avocado a try.)
Get heated: Maybe you don’t enjoy vegetables in their raw form. It doesn’t mean they’ll taste the same when cooked! When you roast vegetables not only do they take on a new flavor, but you can add additional healthy spices to give them an extra kick. Experimenting with cooking styles is a good way to try and consume more vegetables.
Get a helping hand: Maybe it’s the preparation that turns you off from eating fruits and vegetables. All that washing, cutting and peeling, it’s enough to tire you out or opt for easier, unhealthy options. Ask for help and split the duties of preparing and cooking with a friend or spouse. If they’re on veggie duty you can focus more on the meat and still enjoy the vegetables later.
Start early: A good way to eat fruits and vegetables is by taking the majority of your daily serving in the morning. Skip the bagel or muffin and opt for a smoothie or omelet with spinach and onions. Smoothies are great, easy, portable options to sneak in more fruits and vegetables.
Be adventurous: There are countless varieties of fruits and vegetables, so if apples and bananas don’t cut it for you expand your palette and try something new. There could be more delicious options out there you’re not just familiar with – get adventurous the next time you go grocery shopping.
Set a goal: Lastly, because you know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables set yourself a goal. Maybe one week you aim to have three servings a day, but by week two you’re up to five. Making a goal gives you something to look forward to and try to achieve.
By giving some of these easy tips a try you can start consuming more fruits and vegetables and start reaping the benefits they have to offer.
By now you probably have a good idea of what it means to eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables get the top score, followed by whole grains, protein and even dairy. A good resource is the American Food Guide, which helps clarify serving sizes. But sometimes it gets tricky to eat well and we often fall off the bandwagon and over-indulge. Continue reading…
Most likely, when you were growing up, in school your teachers showed you a food pyramid. Each colored block indicated the recommended serving of each essential food group. Maybe in your earlier years you didn’t have many issues following these guidelines, but it’s probably been a while since you last saw this image. Continue reading…