When it comes to the best diet for health, everyone has their own opinions, prejudices, and ideas. But one thing everyone agrees on is that most of us should be eating more vegetables. 5-10 daily servings, which adds up to between two-and-a-half and five cups full of veggies, is a good target to aim for. While this may sound difficult, here are five tips and tricks you can apply to make this easier and get you gobbling more greens.
Add veggies to a breakfast shake
If you don’t normally eat a shake or smoothie for breakfast, doing so is an exceptionally easy way to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. While many of us think of shakes as consisting only of fruit, this is by no means a rule. In fact, it is incredibly easy to “green” up your shake with vegetables. You can toss in kale, tomatoes, carrots, spinach and more to blend in with just about any fruit smoothie. Not only can this be a delicious way to get your breakfast, it’s also an easy opportunity to bump up your day’s veggie intake even before you’ve walked out of the door.
Eat salad for a meal
If you’ve struggled to find ways to add more veggies to your diet, there’s one tried-and-true method that is sure to work: eat a salad. And just because most salads consist mainly of vegetables doesn’t mean yours has to be boring. So instead of settling for the basic plate of lettuce, chicken breast, cheese, tomato and dressing, use this as an opportunity to go veggie crazy and have some fun. Throw in some carrots, avocado, beets, radishes, broccoli, or cucumbers, and mix it with nuts, mushrooms, salmon, beans, berries, or whatever else might complement the leafy greens. And speaking of leafy greens, why not splash out with something more than the typical iceberg lettuce? With kale, spinach, rocket, romaine and other salad greens to choose from, the creative opportunities for a fun, delicious and healthy salad are endless.
Double down on veggies at restaurants
A lot of those who don't like cooking and eating vegetables at home tend to find that the vegetable side dishes served when eating out are a tad more tasty than their homemade equivalents. So take this opportunity to go to town on the vegetables, and order a couple more vegetable dishes than you normally would at restaurants. Save the high-starch dishes - like potato, rice, and pastry - for another time, and perhaps cut back on the meat, too. When the vegetables taste this good, it's worth enjoying them.
Eat veggies for snacks
Let’s be honest - when most of us snack, we’re quick to reach for a sweet or salty treat that is loaded with calories and does little for our health. But if you want an easy way to add more vegetables into your diet, it’s time to change the way we look at snack time. Instead of reaching for the pretzel or cookie, opt for carrots and broccoli. And to make this a little less boring, add some low-fat dip to the equation. While many people like to use the typical tub of creamy dressing to bathe veggies, you'll find that hummus or guacamole is a healthy and equally tasty alternative.
Bring your vegetables into view
When it comes to vegetables, the common tendency is to hide them away in the crisper, otherwise known as the bottom drawer of the fridge. They often linger here till they're limp and unappetizing, and end up just being thrown out. So why not pull them out of that dark place, and instead put them in clear sight on the top shelf? If you see veggies every time you open the fridge, you’ll be much more likely to eat them.
If you’re looking for a way to snap your diet into action next year, get in touch with our pharmacists today. We’ll help you create a diet that you can stick to, so 2016 can be your healthiest year yet!