29 Apr How To Up You Veggie Game
Every now and again, you might find yourself wondering about one thing you can do to boost your nutrition. In lieu of a complete overhaul or committing to a brand new diet, I’d like to offer a suggestion for one of the best and most realistic diet improvements available to all of us. Are you ready?
Commit to increasing your intake of vegetables on a daily basis. That’s it. I’m telling you it’s that simple. Boatloads of research tell us about the positive health impact including vegetables in your diet on a regular basis can have. Harvard Nutrition Source says:
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.
Fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, water and more – veggies are amazing! If eating a salad is the only way you can think of eating vegetables (salads are great, but you know what I mean), here are several other ways to enjoy incorporating vegetables into your daily diet.
- Meatless Monday. Swap out the animal meat for meals on Mondays and incorporate plant-based recipes. Instead of using alternative meat products, aim for plants, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to fill in the meat gap. Here are plenty of vegetarian recipes to get your wheels turning: Real Food Dietitians and Cookie and Kate.
- Smoothies. For many of us, smoothies are cold, sweet, and full of fruit and juice. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, adding a significant amount of vegetables to your smoothies can boost the nutritional content and prevent your blood sugar from going through the roof. And I promise you’ll be surprised that adding vegetables does NOT make your smoothie taste gross. Fruit is a powerful food and masks just about everything. Get your smoothie tips here: Rutgers and UMass.
- Preparation is key. Vegetables continue to surprise me with their various flavor profiles depending on the preparation method and how they’re dressed up. Fresh, frozen, canned, baked, broiled, roasted, grilled, sauteed, air-fried, Instant Potted, Crockpotted, and more there’s no way to count the many ways vegetables can be served. Stay curious and experiment with seasonings and preparation methods and you will be pleasantly surprised too! Check out Real Food Dietitians and Cookie and Kate for ideas.
- Intentional snacking. When you have raw veggies washed and ready to grab and snack, you will be more likely to choose them. Add a dip, dressing, or hummus and allow yourself to munch on these instead of only packaged snacks.
If we’re aiming to fill half of our plate with vegetables at most meals, what are your favorite recipes and ways to include vegetables into your diet? We’d love to know.
By Victoria Emmitt RD