How to Get More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet
Getting the minimum five daily servings of fruits and vegetables is not as daunting as you might think.
Step 1: Know your serving size Know what counts as a serving. A medium-size piece of fruit, a cup of salad greens, or a half-cup of cooked or raw vegetables all constitute one serving.
Step 2: Begin at breakfast Begin at breakfast: Add dried or fresh fruit to cereal or yogurt; put vegetables in an omelet, or make a smoothie. Pack yourself a banana for a mid-day snack.
Step 3: Slice and dice An assortment of veggies adds flavor and crunch to a green salad, but don't forget fruit. Apples, pears, mangoes, and mandarin oranges are a nice addition to a salad, too.
TIP: Whenever you eat spinach, have something high in vitamin C, like a citrus fruit. The combination can help your body absorb the iron in the spinach.
Step 4: Wrap it Use romaine or green-leaf lettuce in place of tortillas to make wraps.
Step 5: Puree it Enrich tomato sauce with pureed vegetables like broccoli, squash, and carrots. Blend pureed cauliflower into your mashed potatoes.
Step 6: Get souped up Beef up canned soup with extra chopped veggies, either fresh or frozen, and spice it up with nutritious herbs like oregano and parsley.
TIP: If you have children, add one teaspoon of sugar per two cups of water when you boil vegetables; a study showed that teens are more willing to eat broccoli and cauliflower cooked that way.
Step 7: Eat the bowl Serve one-pot dishes like chili, stew, and baked pasta in hollowed-out bell peppers or baked squash halves. When you finish the filling, eat the bowl!
Step 8: Do the salsa Enliven a baked potato, an omelet, or a piece of chicken with salsa. A few tablespoons of store-bought salsa counts as a serving of vegetables, but you can also add extra chopped veggies, like onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Fruit salsa is another option; it goes well with chicken, pork, and fish.
FACT: Blueberries are nature's no. 1 source of anti-oxidants among fruits and vegetables.