Today, it seems like everyone is talking about the importance of eating more vegetables. After all, they’re one of the world’s most abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, and phytochemicals. In fact, one cup or a 165-gram serving of raw leafy greens contains about 1,430 micrograms of key nutrients such as folic acid, carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and K.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults is 1/2 cup or 126 grams per day. So as long as you are eating other things such as fruits and whole grains in addition to your vegetables (which is ideal), you should have no trouble getting enough Vitamin Greens in your diet.
Swap white salad greens for darker colored varieties
Salad greens are one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, which is important for health. You can swap out the traditional iceberg lettuce for other types of greens, such as romaine, spinach, arugula, or even red cabbage. These dark-coloured vegetables provide more nutrients and less water than the lighter greens, so they’re great for weight loss.
Add more dark, leafy vegetables to your diet
Dark, leafy vegetables are a great addition to any diet. They’re low in calories, sodium, fat, and cholesterol and high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, they’re great for promoting optimal gut health and are especially helpful for those suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diverticulosis, and Crohn’s disease. On top of the nutritional benefits of dark, leafy vegetables, they’re also delicious. Try adding more parsley, swiss chard, beets, carrots, and broccoli to your meals.
Don’t just eat the rainbow
It’s important to remember that all fruits aren’t created equal. You can reap the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fibre by eating certain fruits. For example, grapes are high in resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure and fight against heart diseases while blueberries are high in antioxidants that can protect your body against diseases like cancers and degenerative diseases. Fruits with high sugar content tend to have a lot of calories and sugar.
They are great for energy and hydration, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you should limit your intake. Additionally, it’s important to know that some fruits have less nutritional value than others. For example, avocados are high in fibre and monounsaturated fat, which have been shown to have heart-healthy benefits, but they have very little protein and are high in calories.
Raw fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and other biological activities that are destroyed by heating. These nutrients are then available to your body for a longer period of time, making raw foods more bioavailable than cooked ones. Vegetables that are raw include: carrots, beets, celery, cucumbers, and radishes. Fruits that are raw include: apples, pears, grapes, kiwis, and berries.
There are many reasons to eat raw vegetables. They are low in calories and sodium, making them ideal for people with hypertension or heart diseases. Raw vegetables also contain vitamin C, E, K, and phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for gut health.
Try sweet-and-savoury combos
Sweet and savoury combinations are a great way to boost your vegetable intake. Try mixing raw broccoli and carrots with a marinara sauce or olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt. You can also steam your vegetables and lightly season them with salt and pepper before placing them in a bowl and covering them with a drizzle of olive oil.
Raw vegetables go well with herbs such as cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, rosemary, and tarragon. You can also try mixing in spices such as paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. Seasoning vegetables with herbs and spices can make them taste more delicious and make them more appealing to eat.
Get creative with dips and sauces
Vegetables are great on their own, but they are even tastier when combined with dips and sauces. For example, you can combine roasted veggies with hummus or veggie dips. You can also add vegetables to pasta dishes or mix them into soups and stews. Vegetables go well with sauces, such as garlic and olive tapenade, pesto, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Many vegetables can also be eaten raw, making them a perfect choice for people who prefer to eat their vegetables raw.
Eat raw or baked goods with added veggies
Vegetables are low in calories, sodium, fat, and cholesterol and high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also great for promoting optimal gut health. People who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, should especially consider eating more veggies as these conditions have been linked to an overactive gut microbiome.
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, beets, and cucumbers, are a great source of nutrients and vitamins, but they contain very little water, making them a great choice for weight loss. You can add raw vegetables to salads or you can steam them and add them to soups, stews, pasta, and other dishes.
Wraps are great for on-the-go snacking
Wraps are a great way to boost the amount of vegetables that you eat. These portable snacks are ideal for when you’re on the go or just don’t have time to sit down and eat a full plate of vegetables. There are many options for making your own wraps, such as sprouting and dehydrating raw vegetables or using hummus as a dipping sauce. You can also wrap non-vegetarian foods, such as chicken tenders or shrimp, in raw vegetables as a substitute for meat.
There’s no doubt that vegetables are important, but they can be tough. The good news is that you don’t have to eat them every day, or even every week. “If you make sure to get a good balance of other foods, such as fruits, whole grains and protein-rich foods, you can get all the nutrients you need without feeling like you’re missing out on anything,” says Lauren Plugh, RDN, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.