Doctors recommend adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet for heart and overall health. They do so because of the numerous health benefits of fruits & veggies, including losing weight.
But, most of us struggle to eat more fruits and vegetables. Here are the best ways to sneak in more nutritious and colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals (even breakfast) and snacks.
Which fruits and vegetables are best?
The answer is easy! They’re all good. By eating many different colored fruits and vegetables, you will definitely get all the different types of nutrients your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends filling at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables to make it to the recommended four to five servings of each per day. For this, all produce counts. That means fresh, canned, and frozen varieties can help you reach your goal.
Caution: When buying frozen, canned, or dried vegetables and fruits, make sure to read food labels and pick the ones with the lowest amount of sodium and added sugars.
What Is The Best Way To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables?
- Eat melon, grapefruit, or other fruit.
- Add berries, bananas, or raisins to your cereal.
- Drink a small glass (6-ounce) of juice. However, remember it’s 100% fruit or vegetable juice without excess sugar or sodium – NOT “fruit drink,” “punch,” “cocktail.”
- Add chopped-up veggies to your potatoes or eggs. For example, try red bell peppers, celery, greens, spinach, or onions.
Adding fruit to a morning smoothie is an easy way to get more fruits into your diet. In addition, you can also sneak in a few vegetables, such as spinach or zucchini, for a boost of veggies.
Caution: Though it may be tempting to add fruit juice as a liquid for your smoothies, most brands contain high sugar, so stick with whole fruits for fiber (and flavor) instead.
- Have a fruit or vegetable with lunch.
- Put vegetables on your sandwiches, like tomato, cucumber, lettuce, sprouts, or avocado.
- Eat a bowl of vegetable soup. But, remember to compare food labels and pick the products with the lowest amount of sodium you can find in your store or make soup from scratch at home.
- Eat raw veggie sticks or a piece of fruit instead of chips.
- Have any type of fresh fruit: apple, grapes, orange, kiwi, banana, etc.
- Keep dried fruits handy, like raisins, walnuts, dried apricots, or dates, in your pocket or purse.
- Carry raw veggie sticks with you, like red or green bell peppers, carrots, green beans, or celery.
- Have veggies or fruit salad with dinner.
- When you cook your meal in the oven, put in a whole potato, sweet potato, or yam at the same time.
- When cooking rice, add some peas, cauliflower, spinach, etc. for the last three minutes of cooking.
- Add chopped vegetables like onions, garlic, spinach, and celery when cooking beans, soup, stew, rice, spaghetti, etc.
- Compliment with a side of steamed or microwaved vegetables.
Include more color. All veggies and fruits have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may help protect you from heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Some examples of these nutrients are fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A and C. The recommended way to get all the nutrients is to eat vegetables and fruits of many different colors. The five main color groups and examples are listed on the Eat More Color infographic. Eat from as many color groups as you can every day.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”