5 Ways to Eat More Veggies
5 Ways to Eat More Veggies
If you don’t like many vegetables or you’re in a vegetable rut always eating the same ones over and over, it may be time to change things up. The importance of eating plenty of vegetables for your health cannot be understated. Vegetables can lower our risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, and promote a healthy weight.¹
Even though many of us know this, only 1 out of every 10 adults eats enough of them.² Why is it so challenging? Well let’s be honest, it could be the taste. Maybe you don’t like veggies all that much.
If that’s the case, you may have trouble consistently meeting the recommended 5 servings a day. You may also need new ideas on tasty ways to add more veggies into your meals. Here are my top 5 tips on how to eat more veggies so you can boost your health and metabolism.
- Add vegetables to every meal, including breakfast. This is also a great way to increase your number of daily vegetable servings without having too many
at once. Spreading them out throughout the day can make them a little easier to tolerate.
Veggies are packed with fiber, so if your body is not used to having them regularly, you want to gradually add more into your daily diet so as to not overload your digestive system. Too much fiber at one meal can lead to gas and bloating, which may deter you from eating more vegetables.
Try adding them to an omelette or to a green smoothie for breakfast. Top your sandwich high with lots of vegetables. Munch on some cherry tomatoes or baby carrots at snack. Always prepare 1-2 vegetables with dinner. Focusing on at least one vegetable serving with every meal or snack can prevent you from trying to play catch up the rest of the day in order to get in enough.
- Use vegetables in place of grains in your meals. Many vegetables are wonderful substitutions for common grains like rice or pasta. For example, instead of rice - try cauliflower rice. Instead of spaghetti, use spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini, or sweet potato. You can find many of these spaghetti substitutes already pre-spiralized at the grocery store to make meal prep super simple. These easy swaps will effortlessly boost your vegetable intake and provide enhanced nutrition with less calories than the grain-based versions.
Snack on vegetables. Many of us may think of fruit when it comes to snacking, but your snacks can be a great opportunity to get in another vegetable serving! Try red pepper or carrot sticks dipped in hummus or celery with peanut butter and raisins for “ants on a log.”
Make wraps with lettuce instead. Cut calories and carbs by using lettuce to make your wraps. Boston bibb lettuce, romaine, or cabbage leaves make great wrap options. Add in your favorite sandwich toppings or proteins like grilled shrimp, chicken, or tofu.
- Try a plant-based energy drink. If you’ve tried everything else and still are struggling to get in enough veggies, try adding in a daily green powder shake made with veggies. Our All Day Energy Greens are a nutritional powerhouse of vegetables that easily mix into water or your favorite smoothie.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to eating vegetables will help keep things interesting. Veggies do not have to be bland or boring. Try different ways to incorporate them into your day and see what works best for you. The bottom line is the best way to make sure you’re getting enough veggies is to enjoy what you’re eating!
Yours in Health-
Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
IVL’s Community Registered Dietitian
- Slavin, J; Loyde, B. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Adv. Nutr. 2012 Jul; 3(4): 506–516.
- Center for Disease Control. Only One in 10 Adults Gets Enough Fruits or Vegetables. www.cdc.gov. Published November 16, 2017. Accessed June 30, 2020.