No vegetable exists which is not better slightly undercooked.James Beard
Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to reduce the risk of certain diseases.
The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are well known. Despite their many benefits, few people get the seven or more recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is unfortunate since a diet with an abundance of fruits and vegetables has been associated with a reduced risk of a variety of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Vegetables are also low in calories, which makes them a guilt-free snack choice. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to eat more vegetables without making drastic dietary changes. Here are some ways to more easily get the health benefits of vegetables.
Have them for breakfast
One way to eat more vegetables is to add them to the first meal of the day. An omelet prepared with fresh vegetables such as red peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes is a tasty and nutritious way to get energy for the day ahead. A cup of fresh vegetable juice substituted for morning coffee can provide an additional antioxidant boost.
Use a blender or food processor to puree a mixture of healthy vegetables in a variety of colors such as greens, broccoli, squash, eggplant, and sweet potatoes. Add a small amount of the vegetable puree to cookie dough, pancake batters, and cake batters. The taste of the vegetables will be disguised by the other ingredients and won’t be noticed. This is a sneaky way to get kids to eat more vegetables.
Explore a salad bar
Salad bars are a convenient way to get a variety of fresh vegetables in a single meal. Plus, all the work of peeling and chopping has already been done. Pile a plate high with spinach, broccoli, and sprouts; while keeping the less nutritious offerings such as iceberg lettuce and croutons to a minimum. Vary the veggies to get a larger variety of vitamins and phytonutrients.
Add them to everything (this is our main philosophy)
One of the best ways to eat more vegetables is to add them to as many foods as possible. Pile them onto the pizza and stack them inside sandwiches. It’s quick and easy to throw a few handfuls into the soup. Replace half the meat in a pasta dish with fresh vegetables and reap the additional nutritional benefits. When properly prepared, portabella mushrooms are a good substitute for meat with far fewer calories.
Although it’s best to eat vegetables in their whole form, when there’s no time to eat, veggies can be drunk as vegetable juice or added to homemade smoothies. The drawback is that all of the heart-healthy fiber goes to waste, but this is a convenient option for those on the go.
Buy frozen vegetables
It’s easier to eat more vegetables when they’re convenient. Many people won’t take the time to peel and chop fresh veggies. Bags of frozen vegetables are inexpensive and easy to prepare in the microwave. There is nothing wrong with a big bag of frozen vegetables. Fruit too, frozen produce is just as good for you.
Have them as a healthy snack
Keep small jars filled with sliced veggies in the refrigerator along with a container of low-calorie dip. They’re a tasty, guilt-free snack and a healthy alternative to chips and pretzels.
Finally, make it easy to eat more vegetables by keeping the refrigerator stocked with fresh and frozen vegetables of all types. More variety means more vitamin and nutritional benefits. Who doesn’t want that?
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