Vegetables provide essential vitamins, water and fiber. Many people struggle to consume enough vegetables daily despite its benefits – including improved joint health. Eating a diet rich in vegetables offers numerous health advantages including improved joint health.
Implementing more vegetables into your daily life doesn’t need to be hard or expensive, especially when longstanding habits exist that cause resistance to vegetables.
1. Make Salads Bigger
People don’t typically consume enough vegetables every day, yet increasing consumption is easy and can be accomplished in different ways.
Start by expanding the scope of your salads. A basic salad can quickly be transformed into a satisfying meal by including protein, whole grain and other components such as fruits, nuts or seeds; add healthy dressing for extra satisfaction!
Add other vegetables to your salads for added color, fiber and nutrients. Or top your bowl off with low-kilojoule fruits like strawberries or tomato slices that will still provide sweetness and crunch that makes you feel full.
Make a large salad batch on the weekend and use it for lunches or side dishes at dinner. Wash and chop all your vegetables beforehand so they are ready to go when needed; cut onions and peppers prior to storage so they are easier to spread on meals.
Switching up how you eat vegetables can have a dramatic impact. Instead of snacking on crackers and chips, why not switch it up by swapping in carrots, cucumber slices, sweet potatoes or kale instead? Or try baking thin slices and seasoning them to make healthy veggie chips?
Other vegetable ideas for breakfast include including them in your omelet or smoothie bowl containing plenty of fruit and veggies, helping you feel full until lunch. Eating veggies first thing can provide energy-boosting start to your day!
2. Replace Your Snacks With Veggie Packets
Even if your family prefers steak and meatloaf dinners, vegetables can still be the focal point of most meals. Try substituting your typical starches with vegetable medleys or serving protein dishes featuring vegetables alongside whole grains as the main course.
Vegetables provide numerous health advantages. Packed with both soluble and insoluble fibers that support digestion, lower “bad” cholesterol levels and help stabilize blood sugar levels, they’re an invaluable source of nutrition and contain anti-oxidants to strengthen immunity and fight disease.
Be sure to include vegetables at every meal and snack – whether on a budget or making your own veggie medleys like this Roasted Turnip Hummus or this Avocado-Pea Dip Dip!
Replace snacking on veggies with vegetable packets as an easy and portable way to increase vegetable intake. These packets can be easily prepared at home or the office and make for convenient on-the-go nutrition. Simply marinade and wrap vegetables up in heavy duty foil before placing the packets on the grill for 10 minutes or until tender; use tongs when taking off as hot steam may escape during this process.
Your other options for cooking vegetables include the oven or microwave. Both methods can preserve texture and flavor of food while keeping it hydrated, with steaming increasing nutrient content while frying, roasting and overcooking can decrease it.
3. Turn Vegetables Into Noodles
Turning vegetables into noodles makes them fun to eat and easy to incorporate into meals. Making vegetable noodles from zucchini and crookneck squash are among the most popular, though you could create them from carrots, sweet potatoes or even beets as well. There are various spiralizers on the market and methods of creating them without one can even be found (click here for tips and recipes).
Spiralizing vegetables is an engaging way to engage your children in cooking while increasing vegetable consumption. They’ll love adding their spiralized “noodles” directly onto their favorite dishes, saving time during dinner prep by spiralizing on weekends then keeping them stored in the fridge to be heated up during the week.
If you don’t own a spiralizer, try creating your own veggie “noodles” by using either a julienne peeler or food processor to produce thin shavings of vegetables such as zucchini and carrots. Just remember not to over-process as too long in the air can result in soggy or limp shavings!
This approach is also quick and simple to implement, making it an excellent option for busy individuals seeking an effective way to incorporate more veggies into their day. Try topping sandwiches with thinly-sliced carrots or cucumbers; packing an extra-veggie salad; or including them in casseroles and pasta dishes – or even dessert options like carrot cake or zucchini cupcakes as sources of added nutrition!
4. Add Veggies to Your Favorite Dishes
Salads are an ideal starting point to any meal, but there are other easy ways to add vegetables. Swapping out buns for lettuce leaves (with an accompanying dipping sauce) in your burger may also work, or creating a stir fry using rice noodles protein and vegetables as ingredients can also work. Another tasty solution might be adding vegetable puree into soup recipes – be sure to choose seasonal produce for optimal flavor and nutrition!
Finely shredded vegetables such as zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes can easily be added to pancakes, muffins and breads for breakfast, brunch or snacks. Furthermore they’re perfect for casseroles and pasta dishes; cooked cauliflower and squash add an additional veggi-bomb that makes mac and cheese, gnocchi or soup even more appealing – you could even create your own creamy cauliflower and tomato soup recipe!
Another tip for adding more vegetables than what a recipe calls for, such as substituting two cups of broccoli instead of just one. This trick works particularly well when making stews, chili or soups.
Starting to incorporate more vegetables can seem intimidating at first, but by starting small and gradually building upon them you will build sustainable habits. Try one of these easy ideas to see how much easier it is to meet nutritionist’s recommendations by increasing vegetable consumption in your daily life.
Do not feel pressured into giving up all the foods you love – simply incorporate more healthy vegetables into meals and snacks in creative, enjoyable ways! Enjoy carrot sticks, celery slices and string beans alongside guacamole or ranch dip for added crunch while cutting back on high kilojoule foods that may otherwise lead to unnecessary weight gain.
5. Eat Veggies for Dessert
Add vegetables to your desserts isn’t just optional; it’s essential! There are numerous delicious, nutritious vegetable-based dessert recipes that make it simple to incorporate two to three cups of veggies daily without breaking your diet. Shredded carrots and zucchini, sweet peas and tomatoes, cauliflower and corn all lend themselves well for sweet dessert recipes like cupcakes, cake pops, cookies or smoothies containing veggies!
Vegetables don’t just belong in lunch and dinner plates – they can also make an impressive breakfast meal! Try whipping up a veggie-packed smoothie, green breakfast omelet, or breakfast salad featuring eggs, tomatoes, kale and other veggies as an on-the-go breakfast that will fill you up until lunch time arrives.
If you enjoy eating soup, add vegetables such as steamed broccoli, roasted red peppers, spinach or zucchini (try our Balsamic & Parmesan Broccoli recipe) into the next batch for an exciting and healthy twist!
There are various other ways you can add more vegetables into your day: add them to pizza dough, switch out your pasta sauce for one with tomato-based base, try substituting eggplant pizza for leafy lettuce wraps instead of hamburger buns, or try replacing noodles with zucchini spirals. When trying to increase vegetable consumption it’s important to be creative – finding methods that work for you and sticking with them so they become part of your routine will do the trick.
Integrating vegetables into your meals is a great way to mix up your usual routine, while also exploring new and tasty ingredients you haven’t tried yet.