The majority of people don’t need to be told that vegetables are good for them. Yet, it can be an ongoing struggle to get your recommended five every day. If you don’t like veggies or just want to find out how to add more to your diet, you’re in the right place.
Eating vegetables every day helps ensure your body gets essential minerals and vitamins it needs to stay healthy. Vegetables are important sources of nutrients like antioxidants and fiber, which play a significant role in both losing and maintaining weight. Fiber helps to fill you up. Plus, when you’re eating low-calorie vegetables, there’s less space for high-calorie foods.
Why is it so Important to Eat Vegetables?
Evidence shows that people who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day have a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. Individuals were twenty percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and stroke. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and well-being.
It’s no secret that Americans struggle to hit their recommended fruit and veggie servings. According to the CDC, one in ten adults gets enough fruits and vegetables. In particular, men, younger adults, and people living in poverty get the fewest servings.
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people consume two and a half cups of vegetables per day. It’s thought that just over nine percent of American adults meet the standard for vegetables.
It can be hard to make vegetables exciting. Constantly finding creative new ideas is tough. On top of that, when you combine a tight schedule with multiple family members who all have different tastes, often vegetables fall off the plate. But, it’s so crucial for your health. If you can find a way to easily sneak more vegetables into your diet, you can reap the benefits and feel great.
Top Tips: How to Eat More Vegetables Without Noticing
- Blend Up Vegetable Smoothies
- Snack on Vegetables
- Eat Vegetables as Noodles
- Visit Your Local Farmers’ Market
- Switch Up Your Stir Fry
- Try a Veggie Bun or Lettuce Wrap
- Don’t Forget Frozen Vegetables!
Blend Up Vegetable Smoothies
A quick way to up your vegetable intake is to drink them. When you combine fruits and veggies in a smoothie, the sweetness of the fruit tends to overpower the taste of vegetables. This is great if you find the taste of vegetables particularly off-putting. Try adding a handful of spinach to your regular smoothie. Although you may end up with a green smoothie, the fruit flavor will stand out.
Snack on Vegetables
Instead of reaching for chips when you need a snack, try using veggies instead. It’s a good idea to prep your healthy snacks for the week if you’re short on time. Your snacks should help fill you up between meals so that you don’t eat everything in sight during your next meal. Healthy snack ideas include:
- Carrots or cucumbers with hummus
- Celery and peanut butter
- Red bell peppers and guacamole
Eat Vegetables as Noodles
The next time you’re in the mood for noodles or pasta, try using veggie noodles instead. One option is to use butternut squash as a pasta base and add your favorite sauce. This is a fantastic way to increase your vegetable intake and is an excellent low-carb alternative. You can also add spiralized vegetables like carrots, zucchini, beets, and cucumber as a noodle alternative.
Visit Your Local Farmers’ Market
If you’re struggling to get creative in the kitchen when it comes to your vegetables, take a trip to the nearest farmers’ market. Explore your local market to experience the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables. It’s a great chance to find new foods and try something different. Find a tasty recipe with new vegetables and try to locate them in the market. When you visit a market and have a better understanding of where your food comes from, it can help the cooking experience feel more positive.
Switch Up Your Stir Fry
A stir fry is a simple, quick, and easy meal to pull together. It’s an ideal option for a mid-week dinner when you want to spend minimal time in the kitchen. When whipping together your stir fry, try giving it a colorful boost by adding some veggies.
You can either follow a recipe or throw in what you have in the fridge. Foods like mushrooms, peppers, onion, and broccoli are an excellent addition to a stir fry. If you’re unsure where to start, I love this quick, super simple veggie stir fry recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.
Try a Veggie Bun or Lettuce Wrap
The next time you have tacos, try using a big lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. Lettuce wraps are tasty and tend to be low-carb alternatives to sandwiches and bunless burgers. You can also use other types of vegetables as burger buns. Vegetables like portobello mushrooms or sliced eggplant make delicious bread alternatives.
Don’t Forget Frozen Vegetables!
It’s easy to think that frozen vegetables aren’t as healthy as fresh. But vegetables are usually frozen soon after picking and therefore the nutrients are frozen almost immediately. So you could easily end up with more nutrients in frozen vegetables than fresh.
With frozen vegetables, you have the added benefits of it lasting much longer. It’s also more convenient and cooks very quickly. Sometimes fresh veggies can taste better, but not always. Frozen vegetables are a cost-effective way to add more variety to your diet while reducing waste, as you only cook the amount you need.
How to Make Vegetables Taste Good
Few people truly enjoy the taste of plainly steamed vegetables. Eating the recommended amount of vegetables can be challenging, especially if you’re averse to the taste. The good news is that there are countless ways you can sneak more vegetables into your diet that are healthy and delicious. Whether it’s switching up your smoothies or bulking out your stir fry with colorful veggies, you can find ways to make vegetables taste good. This way, you can enjoy more veggies in your diet and feed your body with the minerals and vitamins it needs to thrive.