I know, I know...your mom always made you eat a green vegetable...turns out mom was on to something. Eating fruit and vegetables, along with lean meats and whole grains, is a safe way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Studies also show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some cancers and other chronic diseases. Eating vegetables and fruits is important because they provide vitamins and minerals, and most are low in calories. Here are some tips to help you add more veggies and fruits to your day:
- Discover fast ways to cook. Cook fresh or frozen veggies in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, broccoli, or zucchini in the microwave for a quick side dish.
- Be ahead of the game. Cut up batches of veggies and fruits to eat when time is limited. Store them in a see-through container in the fridge so you can quickly see and select the pre-cut goodies to include in a meal or grab them for an on-the-go lunch.
- Choose veggies rich in color. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are all different colors. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try raw cherry tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and asparagus. They not only taste great, but they are also good for you.
- Check the freezer aisle. Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Try adding frozen peas, green beans, spinach, or broccoli to some of your favorite dishes or eat as a side dish.
- Make your garden salad glow with color. Brighten your salad by using colorful ingredients such as black beans, shredded radishes, chopped red cabbage, or spinach leaves. Your salad will not only look good but taste good, too.
- Sip on some vegetable soup. Prepare and freeze, then heat it and eat it.
- While you're out. If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering, ask for an extra side of vegetables or a side salad instead of the typical fried side dish.
- Savor the flavor. Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best-in-season buys. Or visit your local farmer’s market.
- Keep visible reminders. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the fridge. This will serve as a daily reminder to get in your daily fruit servings!
- Be a role model. Set a positive example for the entire family by eating fruits and veggies every day with meals or as snacks. Let the kids choose which fruits and vegetables to include in meals or allow them to pick a new vegetable or fruit to try while grocery shopping.
Content provided by the Metabolic Research Center.