The human body doesn’t require much in the way of vegetables. You only need about two servings of one cup each for most vegetables. Two cups of leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and kale, are recommended. Even so, few people eat enough veggies to meet these minimal requirements. This is a big reason that obesity and other health problems are so common in our society.
Vegetables contain a broad range of vitamins that support immune function while also providing excellent sources of natural fiber. The fiber we get from plant-based foods helps us to go longer without eating, so our bodies have more time to burn the fat we already have stored. If you’re like most people, you do want to eat more vegetables, but you’re unsure about how to add them to your daily routine. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Mix Up Breakfast
We know that the fiber in vegetables and fruits help reduce food cravings by keeping us feeling full for longer, so it makes sense to eat a plant-based breakfast. You can add your favorite veggies to a morning omelet, spread avocado on toast, or blend up a creamy veggie and fruit smoothie. You can also take a supplement, such as Balance of Nature, to get all the healthful benefits that a full serving of fruits and vegetables provides.
2. Have Soup for Lunch
Vegetable soup is an exceptionally healthy meal because it’s filling without giving you too many calories. This is partly because the broth is mostly water, which hydrates and helps your metabolism. The vegetables also help fill you up with natural fiber while containing the vitamins and nutrients you need for an afternoon boost of energy.
3. Replace High Fat Snacks
The typical snacks, which include potato chips, candy, and other processed foods, are high in fat, calories, and refined sugar. Instead of buying those items for your family to eat, stock up on veggies that you can eat raw. Green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes are just a few examples of healthy snacks.
4. Replace Pasta with Zucchini
You can use a spiralizer or regular vegetable peeler to make noodles out of zucchini, carrots, yams, or squash. Alternatively, you can find veggie pasta in the frozen foods section of your grocery store. Once you’ve made enough noodles, prepare them in the same way that you would cook regular pasta.
5. Ditch the Bread
Instead of making sandwiches in bread or flour tortillas, use the leaves from a head of butter lettuce, cabbage, or kale. You can make any sandwich healthier by using leafy green vegetables in the place of bread or tortillas. This is a great way to add more vegetables to your lunch, or you can make sandwich wraps for dinner.
6. Use Spaghetti Squash as a Bowl
When you cut the spaghetti squash in half, you get two bowls that can be used to make any dish healthier. The squash inside can be dug up and used to create a pasta dish, lasagna, or almost any other meal that requires high-carb grains typically. Just replace those grains with the squash and follow the recipe for the dish you’re preparing.
7. Make Your Chips
You can also use vegetables to make homemade snacks that your family will love. Beets, yams, and kale are just a few things that make a delicious, crispy treat when you bake and lightly salt them. Just slice your chosen vegetable into thin chips and bake them in the oven until they’re a little crispy. After cooling for a few minutes, they will be ready to eat.