Let’s talk vegetables, shall we? It’s no secret that Americans are notoriously poor at getting the recommended amount of vegetables in their daily diet. In fact only about 6.4% eat the recommended amount of vegetables we should eat in an average day. Most of us eat anywhere from 30% to 80% of the suggested amount of vegetables each day. For a typical 2000 calorie diet that’s about 2 ½ cups.
Why is that a problem? What difference does it make if we eat our vegetables or not? To put it simply . . . vegetables are some of the healthiest foods out there. They’re filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and all kinds of other nutrients that help ward off disease and keep us feeling healthy. You can’t go wrong by adding more veggies to your diet.
Here are six easy ways to help you increase your vegetable consumption:
1. Top it – Pile on the veggies when you have baked potatoes or pizza. Top other foods with salsa or bruschetta.
2. Blend it – Put your blender to work by whirring up some veggies for a green smoothie or as a base for soups like this Roasted Tomato Soup, and sauces.
3. Stuff it – Use vegetables as a holder for the main entrée. I’m thinking stuffed peppers, zucchini boats (Quinoa and Chicken Stuffed Zucchini from She Knows), or stuffed tomatoes like this Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna.
4. Dip it – This is my go to for adding veggies to the lunch meal. Raw vegetables and a healthy dip like hummus are a great addition.
5. Add it – Get out your chef’s knife and start chopping and dicing. Add those veggies to casseroles, salads (Spinach and Orzo Salad), stir-fries, stews, sandwiches, and even lasagna.
6. Shred it – Vegetables like carrots or cabbage work well for shredding and adding as a filler to dishes like chili, meatballs, meatloaf, and enchiladas.
Add more vegetables to your diet today. You’ll be on the road to a healthier diet and healthier body.
What have you done to increase your intake of veggies? Leave a comment below and share your ideas. I’d love to hear them! Check back often for more healthy ideas.