Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients such as vitamins to the body. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of your daily diet is usually advised by nutritionists and health professionals due to the health benefits that come with them. However, for many people who have busy day to day lives, adjusting daily diet can be difficult and even frustrating. Below are several tips to consider to help increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
Make Your Snacks Revolve Around Fruits and Vegetables
Snacks help to reduce hunger during tight schedules that don’t allow time for having a full meal. Adding them to your diet can be quite useful. Encouraging yourself to replace common salty or sweet snacks with fruits or vegetables can help improve your dietary health. This can be achieved by keeping a bowl of fresh fruits at your desk or at home, providing easy access to a quick, healthy snack. You can also try keeping dried fruit in your car for snacks on the go.
Boost Your Breakfast
Breakfast is the appropriate time to get in an extra serving of vegetables or fruit. This can be accomplished by simply stirring fresh or frozen berries, or banana slices into your yogurt, cereal, or other meal. If you have time, you could also consider making a breakfast smoothie from a simple recipe such as this:
- Take your favorite yogurt (or a low fat milk)
- Add 1/2 cup of frozen berries (any kind will do, though remember to consider seeds!)
- Blend together to desired consistency!
If you prefer to use fresh fruit instead of frozen, considering adding some ice to your smoothie as well. If you have no time for breakfast, you can pick an orange, apple, or banana and have it on your way to work.
Add Small Amounts
Another great way to eat more fruits and vegetables is to add them into your current daily diet. This will not only allow you to improve the health of your favorite dish, but let you use your creativity to spice up old recipes. A simple way to do this is to grate or puree fruits and vegetables and add them to dishes they might complement. Another idea is to grate carrots or zucchini onto burgers, meatballs, or other meat dishes, as their taste and consistency can go well together. In addition, putting chopped peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or other veggies into recipes such as pasta sauce can add a few more vegetables into your diet.
Make a Meatless Day for Yourself
At least once a week, create a meatless day. Prepare fruits and vegetables for the day and then increase your intake to 3 servings. You can also make a fruit salad for snacking and meals. Also consider grilling extra vegetables and preserving them for salads, soups, sandwiches, and other meals during the week. This is not only good for your health, but it can also be beneficial to the environment.
Try Something New Each Week
Trying new things can be a fun way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Whether it’s a new recipe, or a fruit or veggie you’ve never tasted before, try to find something new each week. Looking up which fruits and vegetables are in season can help you decide what new food you’d like to try. You might even discover something that you want to keep eating on a regular basis.
Double Your Intake
Since extra vegetables are generally fairly easy to add to recipes without greatly affecting taste and composition, doubling what you use is a good option to consider. Some ideas for adding extra veggies to regular recipes include adding extra vegetables as topping to frozen pizza, to a variety of casseroles, or onto sandwiches.
Choose Fruit-Based Desserts and Salads
Using fruits such as grapes or bananas can add a good flavor to popular desserts. Some examples of desserts that can be improved with fruit include ice cream, frozen yogurt, and even pastries. You can also use frozen fruit as a dessert by itself. This can be done by dipping part of your fruit into a small portion of antioxidant dark chocolate.
For more information about how to increase the health of your daily diet, or to speak with a nutrition counselor, visit STR8 Training, located in San Marcos, TX.