This super food is low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It comes individually packaged and can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s Doctor approved and recommended.
This super food is included at most dinners. Parents encourage their kids to eat it and dessert might even be used as a bribe. We often hear the child say…..
But why do I have to eat my vegetables? (in a whiny, sad child voice.)
photo credit Greg Westfall
Most of us need to be reminded, just like kids!
Eating more vegetables is one of the simplest changes we can make to improve our overall health.
Eating more vegetables can lower our risk of developing arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.
Vegetables fill our stomachs with nutrient rich, low calorie fuel! We also feel fuller for longer because of the high fiber content.
When we replace higher calorie foods with vegetables we are taking another little step to being healthy.
But sadly we still don’t eat them often enough. A recent report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 87 percent of adults didn’t meet the suggested vegetable recommendation. Kids are still struggling, as 93 percent didn’t meet the recommended amount.
But how much do I have to eat?
Most women between the ages of 19 – 50 require 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day.
Wow, that sounds like a lot but not when you start measuring it out and looking at it. Especially if we substitute vegetables for other high calorie, low nutrient foods.
1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables counts toward your daily total.
1 cup of raw leafy greens counts as a ½ cup toward your daily total.
1 cup of 100 % vegetable juice also counts toward your daily total.
How can I include more vegetables in my day?
Mix them into your meals and space them out. If you eat the standard 3 meals and a snack then plan on 1 cup at lunch and dinner and ½ for a snack. If you eat mini meals through out your day then include ½ cup at each one.
Find a vegetable you really like and enjoy it. I love the color, crunch and taste of raw yellow, red and orange peppers. It’s easy for me to add them to my lunch. Maybe you like baby carrots. Buy a big bag and take them to work with you.
Substitute raw veggies for crackers or chips. Serve them with hummus or low fat dip.
Buy prewashed greens and have a salad at dinner each night. Toss in peppers, cucumber, carrots, and green onions. Watch the salad dressing as it can add many calories and fat grams.
Wash, cut and prepare fresh vegetables on the weekend. Once the work is done it’s easy to add them to a fresh salad or bag some to take to work. Think about putting them on the top shelf of the fridge. Things in the drawers often get forgotten.
Sneak some grated vegetables into sauces and casseroles. No one will know.
Drink your veggies. Add spinach or kale to a fruit smoothie. Or try some low sodium vegetable juice.
Don’t forget frozen vegetables. They are picked at their peak and have the same nutrients as fresh and are often cheaper than fresh. Steam them quickly in the microwave for another delicious serving of vegetables or add them to soups or casseroles.
TODAY’S little STEP: As part of Camp #3 add one serving of vegetables to one meal or snack. Pick one of these ideas or check out the links for more ideas.
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These are some of the sites I used for my research. Check them out they all have good information.