One in ten Americans consume the recommended intake of vegetables on a daily basis. The daily recommendation for vegetable intake is 2 ½ – 3 cups daily. Getting in your vitamins and minerals through vegetables is important for greater nutrition, fiber, and antioxidant properties. A daily MVI is only meant to supplement diet when needed, not substitute.
Consuming fresh vegetables is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy diet. Vegetables are a product of water, earth and sunlight and one of the best ways to get pure energy and nourishment. A diet filled only with meat can be harmful to your overall health. Meat products generally have to undergo various phases of sterilization, which in return, require your body to digest preservatives, pesticides and hormones. While meat is a great source of protein, fresh vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Finding vegetables that you enjoy eating and can incorporate into your diet on a daily basis will help improve your overall health and help you feel better about what you’re eating.
Tips on how to get more veggies in:
- Add veggies to breakfast, such as in an omelet or a smoothie
- Spinach has several nutritional benefits and is great for smoothies
- Cut up raw veggies on a Sunday, or your day off and put them in zip block baggies – just grab them in the morning for a snack or have with your lunch
- Raw veggies with hummus, ranch dressing or even peanut butter (i.e., celery and peanut butter) make a great snack
- Soups are perfect for trying to get your veggies in during the fall and winter
- Experiment with veggie noodles such as zoodles (zucchini noodles)
- Make spaghetti squash, lasagna boats or stuffed peppers and add some protein on such as chicken sausage
- Grill veggie kabobs in the summer
- Make your salads colorful and add a variety of vegetables – going to Farmer’s markets in the summer can be motivating to try new veggies
- Try cauliflower rice (cauliflower in rice form – you can find this in the frozen vegetable section) if you do not like the texture of cauliflower
- Get creative with your stir fry recipes such as adding a vegetable you don’t normally have (i.e., sugar snap peas)
- If you are tired of buying fresh vegetables and them going bad, purchase frozen vegetables as they last longer
- Frozen vegetables can be convenient as you can put them in a microwavable steamer and they can be done in less than 5 minutes
Build Healthy Eating Habits
While vegetables may lack certain flavors that are found in fats, they contain the most supportive nutrients for sustainable digestive health. Because of this, making sure vegetables are a part of your diet is essential. Behavioral Therapy can help you learn to identify areas where your diet can be improved and develop healthy eating habits. Responding positively to healthy foods like vegetables will turn healthy eating into a sustainable practice. It might be hard at first to substitute foods you’ve gotten used to eating for healthier alternatives, but we promise that your mind, body, and spirit will feel lighter and sharper with a healthier diet in place Maintaining a healthy diet. If you can control what you eat, and replace bad habits with good ones, you will be on the path towards a brighter and healthier future.