According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of vegetables daily. That’s a shame because veggies are packed with nutrients essential for good health. If you’re looking to increase your vegetable intake, here are some tips on how to do so.
Add a Side Salad with Lunch Or Dinner
One easy way to eat more vegetables is to add a side salad to your lunch or dinner. A salad can be as simple as a few chopped veggies tossed in a light dressing. Or, you can get more creative and add fruits, nuts, seeds, or cheese to your salad. If you’re short on time, you can buy pre-made salads at the grocery store.
Incorporate Vegetables Into Your Breakfast
If you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, one simple change you can make is to incorporate more vegetables into your breakfast routine. This doesn’t mean that you need to go full-on vegetarian or anything like that – simply adding a few extra veggies to your morning meal can significantly impact your overall health.
There are plenty of easy ways to do this. For example, add some sauteed spinach or other greens to your eggs. You could also try a vegetable-based smoothie for breakfast – throw some spinach, kale, carrots, and other veggies into a blender with fruit, yogurt, or milk.
Make a Veggie-Based Soup or Stew
Another great way to eat more vegetables is to make a soup or stew packed with veggies. This is a particularly good option when you might be craving something warm and comforting in the winter. Just toss whatever veggies you have on hand into a pot with broth or water and let it simmer until everything is cooked. You can add beans, lentils, or other proteins to fill your soup more.
Always Have Veggie Snacks On Hand
Vegetables make great snacks because they’re low in calories but high in nutrients. So cut up some carrots, celery, cucumbers, or peppers and store them in the fridge so you always have something healthy to munch on when you get the munchies.
Get Creative With Your Dips and Sauces
Dips and sauces can make vegetables more palatable – especially for kids. For example, vegans may enjoy hummus or guacamole as a dip, while those who eat dairy may prefer tzatziki or ranch dressing. Get creative and experiment with different dips and sauces until you find a few you like. Then, always have them on hand when you want to eat veggies.
Add Vegetables to Your Favorite Recipes
An easy way to eat more vegetables is to add them to the recipes you already love. For example, try adding some sauteed veggies to your sauce if you’re making chicken and sausage pasta. You can also sneak veggies into desserts, like chocolate avocado mousse or carrot cake. So get creative and see how many ways you can add veggies to your favorite dishes.
Make Vegetable-Centric Meals
There are endless possibilities when it comes to making vegetable-centric meals. You can roast them, grill them, sauté them, or eat them raw—the choice is yours! Some of our favorite recipes include roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, grilled zucchini with lemon and herbs, sautéed kale with garlic, and raw beet salad with orange vinaigrette. Experiment until you find what you like best!
Invest in a Juicer or Blender
You can get all your veggies per day in juice or smoothies. This is a great way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, and it’s also a great way to get more vegetables into your diet if you prefer to eat them less. In addition, juicers and blenders are inexpensive and worth the investment if you want to improve your overall health.
Replace Your Usual Carbs with Veggie Substitutes
If you’re trying to eat fewer carbs, plenty of vegetable-based substitutes can help you out. For example, try using cauliflower rice in place of regular rice or spiralized vegetables in place of pasta. You can also use lettuce leaves as wraps for your favorite sandwich fillings. So get creative and see how many ways you can replace carbs with veggies!
Consuming enough vegetables every day is important because they provide essential nutrients for good health. If you want to increase your intake, try incorporating more vegetables into your daily meal plan using some of the tips above. Eating more vegetables can give your body the healthy boost it needs and make all the difference in your daily energy levels.