Now that the November and December holidays are out of the way, it is time to get back on track with health goals. Getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet is an important way to eat healthier by adding more nutrients on a daily basis. Many of us do not get the necessary nutrients our bodies need daily, so it is important to make this a priority in our lives.
Eating at least one fruit and a lot of vegetables each day will boost key nutrient levels in your body, including calcium that is important for healthy bones and teeth, fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and C. A boost in these and other necessary nutrients provided by eating fresh fruits and vegetables will aid you in feeling better overall. Maybe even help lower blood pressure and lessen the risks for major illness. Each situation is different, of course, but getting in enough of these important nutrients is essential to overall health.
There are easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, including:
- If weight loss is desired limit the daily intake of fruits, but try to have at least one serving a day. Fruit has sugar, so too much of a good thing would be counterproductive.
- Add more vegetables to school and work lunches. Pack less, or even no, processed foods, and extra vegetables for a healthier meal.
- Add more vegetables to your soups and salads, as well as to your breakfast options.
- Make casseroles using three or four vegetables, rather than only two. An easy Shepherds’ Pie might include: Ground beef or sausage, carrots, broccoli, and diced sweet potato, topped with mashed squash.
- Eat one salad every day. Better yet, have two. A large salad might be the entire meal, or a smaller one can add additional vegetables to a meat dish that already has two or three vegetables.
- Consume fruit waters, teas, and lemonades. And don’t forget the occasional cup of juice. Rather than using sugar as a sweetener try using honey, and cut back on the amount of sweetener you use. We don’t need as much as we think.
- Keep plenty of fresh vegetables on hand for snacking.
- Each week, make up a vegetable platter to keep in the refrigerator. Use the vegetables as quick extra additions to soups, as snack, or to add to already vegetable dense salads.
- Keep a jar of pickles, or other pickled vegetables, on hand for snacking.
- Add vegetables to your smoothies. They will still taste delicious, and be healthier. Try adding Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, carrots, or celery to a smoothie.
Think you can’t afford all these fresh fruits and vegetables? Yes, you can.
- Cut out processed foods.
- Know what to buy organic, and what doesn’t have to be bought that way.
- Cut out sweets, sodas, and chips.
In what ways do you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet? Let us know in the comments below.
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