Only one in ten Americans eat enough vegetables. Vegetables are very important to our overall health. They can help you to achieve a healthy weight; they contain necessary nutrients such as fiber, minerals and vitamins that can prevent heart disease….the number one killer in our lifetime.
We understand buying and preparing vegetables takes time, so our friends at The Harvard Heart Newsletter offered suggestions for helping you to eat more veggies.
Be aware you are not eating enough vegetables. Evaluate what you are now consuming and compare that to the recommended daily amount of two to three cups.
Convenience if often an issue. Consider buying pre-cut washed fresh fruit and vegetable such as cubed melon or pineapple, baby carrots, celery sticks and bagged salad greens.
Focus on Frozen. Frozen veggies are similar to and often better than fresh. They’re picked at the peak of ripeness and flash-frozen which helps retain their vitamins and phytochemicals.
Stay in Season. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to be less expensive when they are in season. Seek out farmer’s markets or pick your own.
Branch out. Try eating at least one new fruit or vegetable every week. Challenge yourself to eat a rainbow of colored veggies, i.e., red peppers, oranges, squash, spinach, blueberries, etc.
Add on extra flavor. Add toppings such as olive, nut or sesame oil, chopped or toasted nuts, fresh mined herbs or dried herb and spice blend.
Use dips and spreads. Dunk your broccoli, peppers, or carrots into hummus, guacamole or your favorite salad dressing.
Sip Soups. Vegetable-rich stews and soups are an easy way to eat a variety of vegetable. Summertime gazpacho or fruit soups made with berries or melons.
Once you’ve formed new eating habits to include more veggies, it will become easy and enjoyable….and much more healthy.