I have two VERY important questions for you…
1) Do you know how many servings of fruits & veggies we should eat each day?
2) Do you know what a serving is???
The answers (according to the USDA Guidelines):
- 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
- A serving is 1 medium piece of fruit, 1 cup of chopped fruits or vegetables, ½ cup of dried fruit (be careful it’s caloric!), or 2 cups of leafy greens!
These rough guidelines may be overwhelming to you veggie-phobic folk out there…but these guidelines are created for a reason…
Fruits and vegetables are VITAL to good health!
In case you’re wondering what/where/when/why you’re eating natures cure, here are 5 easy ways to eat more veggies:
1. Be the master of disguise! Spinach has the mildest flavor of all greens (in my opinion), so it’s easy to add this iron-rich green into almost anything without much flavor impact! Start small by adding a handful into any smoothie, throwing the frozen kind into any tomato sauce (cheap money-saving trick too!), or sneaking some into your favorite brownie recipe (I know it sounds gross but I promise you can’t taste it!!).
2. Go halfsies! When making your favorite pasta dish, swap half of your carby pasta for spiralized veggies or just cut down the quantity of pasta and add more veggies to fill you up!
3. Think of veggies as a main dish instead of a side. Cauliflower steak? Mushroom burger? I’m not saying these veggies taste like meat (because they don’t!) but making vegetables the soloist instead of just in the chorus can be just as satisfying, when prepared properly.
Seriously, how good does this look??? It was most definitely tasty!
4. Switch it up. If you’re a dieter (hate that world…and mama always told me hate’s a strong word), you probably have a staple snack that works for you (something like carrots and hummus). That gets monotonous over time. Swap in-season favorites for a twist! Watermelon radishes, jicama, and colorful cauliflower all make great dippers!
5. Try a favorite in a new way! Summer is the perfect season to explore the versatility of vegetables. Grilling is the BEST way to encourage variety. Grilled romaine anyone?? What about grilled peaches, watermelon, or pineapple? (Three of my absolute favorites!)
Even if you don’t love veggies the same way I do, these tips are sure-fire ways to “ramp” up your intake!!
Now get munching!
Here’s further reading about the importance of vegetables & fruit:
“Vegetables and Fruit: Get Plenty Everyday” from Harvard School of Public Health
“Cruciferous Vegetables: How Food Affects Health” from Joy Bauer
“Why Diet Matters” from Everyday Health