Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other important nutrients that help maintain good health. But many of us don’t eat enough of them. Here are five simple ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
1. Have Your Fruits & Veggies for Snacks
Replace unhealthy snack choices such as chips and candy with a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of baby carrots or even a vegetable juice. Fruits and veggies are easy to keep on hand and are lower in calories and fat than many packaged snacks.
2. Choose More Vibrant Veggies for Your Meals
When planning meals think about the rainbow of color that can be added from incorporating more vegetables. Bright red peppers, spinach, yellow squash, and tomatoes can add flavor and nutrients to many different dishes.
3. Roll in the Fruits & Veggies
Work fruits and veggies into sandwiches, wraps, omelets, salads, pizza, and tacos. And don’t forget to consider additional toppings, such as apples and bananas in your morning oatmeal or a garlic-sauteed spinach side dish.
4. Make a Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get an extra serving of fruits and veggies into your diet. Blend some frozen fruit (mangoes, bananas, and strawberries are a few examples), with a handful of spinach and some yogurt. Add a scoop of protein powder for a healthy breakfast on-the-go.
5. Use Vegetables as Substitutions
For some dishes, vegetables can be used in place of higher calorie ingredients, such as a mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and sweet potato fries instead of potato fries. Eggplant and mushrooms also work great as meat substitutes.
Remember, adding more fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are so many options for incorporating more produce into your diet. Have fun and experiment with new recipes, you might be pleasantly surprised at the delicious results.
What are some healthy recipes that incorporate more fruits and vegetables?
1. Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl: Combine cooked quinoa, diced sweet potatoes, broccoli florets, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, black beans and your favorite vegetables for a healthy and flavorful dish. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and spices to taste.
2. Zucchini Noodle Stir-Fry: Make “zoodles” out of zucchini and cook them in a wok or large skillet with peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and onions. Add a splash of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and sesame oil then toss with fresh herbs like basil and cilantro.
3. Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Salad: Roast red bell peppers in the oven until tender and browned then combine them with feta cheese, diced cucumbers, and diced tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper then top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
4. Mediterranean Chickpea and Vegetable Skillet: Sauté garbanzo beans, an assortment of veggies, garlic, and spices in olive oil. Add lemon juice and diced tomatoes for a zesty finish.
5. Rainbow Buddha Bowl: Pack a bowl full of colorful winter vegetables like beets, squash, carrots, and peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
What are some healthy recipes that promote weight loss?
1. Spinach and Tomato Omelette: whisk 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg, then stir in 3/4 cup chopped baby spinach and 1/4 cup diced tomato. Heat cooking oil and pour egg mixture into a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until egg is cooked through.
2. Chicken and Veggie Bowl: mix together 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 2 cups diced chicken, 1 cup diced bell pepper, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped kale, 1/3 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, then add vegetables and spices, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add cooked chicken and cook for 3 minutes more. Serve over cooked quinoa with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
3. Avocado Egg Salad: mash 2 ripe avocados in a bowl along with 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add in 3 hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup diced celery, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill. Stir to combine and serve over a bed of mixed greens.
4. Mexican Quinoa Bowl: cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth according to package instructions. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, 1/2 cup diced zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add in cooked quinoa, 1 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed), and 1/2 cup canned corn (drained and rinsed). Cook for a few minutes more, stirring to combine. Serve topped with diced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.