In a perfect world, vegetables would taste as delicious as sweets and junk food. We’d all be healthier and happier with stronger immune systems. Sadly, we don’t live in that world. Instead, we live in one in which many of us don’t eat enough veggies. A 2017 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables and fruits.
It can be hard to get yourself to eat enough produce. Veggies expire faster than processed foods do, can be more expensive, and don’t taste like your favorite dessert. However, our bodies need some plant-based sustenance each day to ensure that we get an adequate amount of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables also have tons of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining digestive health. And while a bowl of ice cream may feel like it’s making you feel better in the moment, it won’t prevent the risk of strokes and heart attacks or ward off certain cancers.
Eating healthier doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. You can eat more than just salad. Here are some easy ways to boost your veggie intake.
Make nutritious breakfast smoothies
Many doctors recommend starting the day with a serving of greens, which is where smoothies come in handy. You can add healthy greens like kale, spinach, and celery to your shake. Adding in fruits will sweeten the drink, and you won’t taste the bitterness of the vegetables. Apples, bananas, berries, and pineapples are great fruit add-ins for some sweetness. The best thing about smoothies is that there are endless combinations of fruits and veggies to cater to your taste.
Swap carbs for cauliflower
Cauliflower has become increasingly popular in recent years. It can be a substitute for some of our favorite starches like rice, bread, pizza, and potatoes. Most supermarkets carry riced cauliflower and cauli crusts to save you the time of making your own. Since cauliflower has become such a massive trend, you can find tons of easy recipes online. Plus, it’s a low-calorie food which makes it a good option for weight loss.
Add more veggies to every meal
Making a 180° diet change can be hard to maintain. Most people end up feeling bummed that they have to eliminate their favorite foods, which is ultimately why a lot of diets fail. If you’re creative, you can add vegetables to the go-to meals that you know and love. If you love pasta, toss it with a tomato sauce loaded with onions, zucchini, and carrots. Or, make a pasta primavera with squash, peppers, broccoli, and other fresh veggies. Bonus points if you replace wheat pasta for zucchini or carrot noodles! For breakfast, add diced veggies to your egg scrambles or omelets. The possibilities are endless and you’ll find that adding vegetables to every meal is easier than you think. Try following the rainbow food diet to add lots of variety.
Load up on vegetable-based soups
Who doesn’t love a thick, creamy soup? They’re absolutely delicious but usually lack any nutritional value. You can make them healthier by using veggies instead of milk or cream. Try roasting and sautéing butternut squash or sweet potato for the soup’s base. The soup will have the same flavor and lusciousness as the dairy-based original, but with vitamins and fiber.
Eating a healthier diet with a hearty amount of vegetables is easier than you think. As you incorporate more produce into your daily diet, you’ll find that your taste buds can change and find veggies to be tastier than ever before. Bell peppers and carrots will eventually taste sweeter, and over time you won’t crave sweets and starches as much. Try eating vegetables with every meal every day. Your body will thank you.
The next time you are looking for more veggies try our Fresh Squeezed Carrot Juice. Looking for something with a little more substance? Ask for our Strawberry Banana Smoothie with a carrot added…yeah we can do that! At the Rainbow Restaurant we serve healthy meals and drink options. Come on by and taste the difference.
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