According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fruits and vegetables are the foods that should be eaten most often. For most people, this means more than doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat daily.
How much do you need? Recommended amounts vary for age and gender, but here’s a general guideline: Make fruits and vegetables about half of what you eat, every time you eat. It’s easier than you think! Here are some ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet:
- Avoid naked cereal. Give your cereal a boost by adding blueberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, raisins, dried cranberries or cherries.
- Blend your fruit. Smoothies can have 3-5 servings of different fruits or vegetables. Use 100 percent juice but be sure to use whole fruit for maximum nutritional benefits. Use plain low-fat yogurt instead of ice cream or whole milk.
- Do the mash. Mash cauliflower and turnips into mashed and twice-baked “potatoes.” Grate carrots, zucchini, turnips and squash; add them to red sauces and chili. No one will notice but the nutritional benefits will be there.
- Make veggie spaghetti. A spiralizer or spiral slicer can turn any firm fruit or vegetable into spaghetti-like strands, translucent long ribbons or thin slices. Add pesto or marinara sauce to raw “pasta” for a new twist on eating your veggies.
- Skinny dip. Don’t forget about dessert! Dip plain fruit like grapes, sliced apples, oranges or figs into melted dark chocolate or peanut butter dip.
- Be downright sneaky. Add vegetable purees to traditional comfort foods and desserts. Pureed blueberries, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or cauliflower can be deliciously hidden into food.
10 More Ways to Add 1 More Veggie or Fruit to Your Day
- Add beans to salads or vegetable soup.
- Use your food processor to chop vegetables up finely and add to soup or quesadillas.
- Beef up meatloaf and soups with cut-up veggies.
- Use tomato juice as broth for veggie soup.
- Toss raisins into baked goods, yogurt or oatmeal.
- Include onions, peppers and mushrooms in omelets.
- Put fruit in your salad.
- Include lettuce, tomato and onions on all your sandwiches and wraps.
- Top your pizza with your favorite veggies.
- Begin your day with 100% juice and a piece of fruit -- that’s more right from the start!
Source: Fruit and Veggies More Matters