Eating a variety of fresh foods is the first step in getting sufficient nutrients from your diet. This is especially true with vegetables. Of course, we could all eat more vegetables, but are they really that important? If you skip on vegetables, you’re missing out on natures perfect food – they’re low in calories and high in nutrients. Less vegetable intake usually leads to being undernourished and overweight. Get your vegetable intake back on track by practicing the following tips.
Use a blender. Smoothies are a great way to make a quick breakfast or snack. A well-blended fruit and vege smoothie tastes great and is great for you. Try a combination of 1 medium carrot, a handful of baby spinach, ¼ cup blueberries, ½ banana, ¼ avocado, a scoop of protein powder, a few ice cubes, and water. This makes a great breakfast that will take you much farther than a bowl of cereal or a breakfast bar will.
Include a vegetable in at least one of your daily snacks. Cherry tomatoes, snow peas, baby carrots, celery, and peppers are a great grab and go snack that add nutrients without adding a lot of calories. Pair them up with some hummus, almond butter, or a cheese stick to add a pop of flavor.
Have a side salad with your lunch. Rather than having a fried appetizer or bread, try eating a fresh salad with a variety of vegetables as a healthy alternative. Cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, onions, arugula, and romaine taste great in a fresh salad. Be aware of the dressing and stick with something simple, such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Double up your vegetables for dinner rather than having a starch like rice or potatoes. Two servings of veges along with a quality protein source is a well balanced meal that doesn’t load you down with calories at the end of the day when you’re least active. When choosing your two vegetables, choose two different colors – such as zucchini and red pepper. The more color variety, the better.
Learn how to cook and get creative. It’s amazing how many great dishes include vegetables, you just have to take the time and learn the skills to create healthy options. Foods such as meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs can have veges like grated zucchini, chopped spinach, or diced peppers baked right into them. Baking, grilling, or cooking vegetables can really bring out their natural flavors and make for a great meal. For example, asparagus grilled on a cedar plank with a bit of olive oil and sea salt/pepper can really wake up your taste buds.
So start eating more vegetables and get one step closer to taking control of your health.