6 ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake
- The one thing that nutrition experts always agree on is the importance of fruits and vegetables in the daily diet
- Adding at least 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies into your daily meals greatly affects your day-to-day life
- Have fruits and vegetables as snacks instead of your usual choices such as crackers or snack bars
The foods we eat affect more than just our weight, but also our moods, energy levels, skin, hair, decision-making skills, and many other aspects of life. There is a lot of controversy out there about which foods are the best for us. Some say animal protein, some say beans, some say go for soy, some say no to soy, some say only fish, and some say red meat every day. But, the one thing that nutrition experts always agree on is the importance of fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.
Study after study shows how important these foods are for vitamins, minerals, and their anti-cancer properties. They are loaded with antioxidants to protect our bodies from harmful substances, as well as fiber, to keep us full and help things “move along” (if you know what I mean).
But, these benefits seem so far from the present moment. Sure, vitamins are great, antioxidants are wonderful, and fiber is helpful. But, what about right now? How about how you will actually feel on a day-to-day basis when you increase your fruit and vegetable intake?
Adding at least 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies into your daily meals greatly affects your day-to-day life. I speak from personal experience and have seen it in my clients as well! Moods are lifted and clients feel more energetic and positive. There are higher levels of satiety throughout the day, since fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, keeping us full and helping us resist giving in to cravings.
So, you may be asking, how do I add more vegetables and fruits to my diet if it’s something I’m not used to?
Here are 6 easy ways to add more vegetables and fruits to your diet!
- Add vegetables to your morning omelet such as kale, spinach, peppers, onions, or broccoli.
- Add berries to your oatmeal or cereals in the morning.
- Make green smoothies, or add some kale and spinach to all-fruit smoothies. Fruit smoothies are great too, but smoothies made with all fruit can often be very high in sugar. Add some veggies and take out a bit of the fruit to balance out the sugar, while adding more vitamins A and C!
- If you are a big rice eater, cut the amount of rice you eat in half at lunch, and add a huge salad to replace the rice. Try to add as many vegetables as possible to your salads! Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, just go crazy! The sky is the limit. Make it your goal to add a new vegetable every week to your salads.
- Have fruits and vegetables as snacks instead of your usual choices such as crackers or snack bars. They take longer to eat and make you chew, which helps increase the “I’m full” signal to your brain and makes you feel more satisfied instead of inhaling a bar in 3 bites!
- Lastly, try to add a salad with your lunch and dinner. Even if they are simple salads, adding some greens with some tomatoes and cucumbers will help increase your vegetable intake and add a nutritional punch to each meal.
Think about which one of these tips is most feasible for you, and then go for it!
I guarantee you will be feeling energized, happier, and healthier in no time!