How to Get Enough Fruits and Vegetables
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Eat More Vegetables
If you want to look and feel your healthiest, you should eat at least two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit a day on a 2,000-calorie diet. If you don’t eat that many fruits and veggies right now, it can be hard to know how to start getting them into your daily diet.
By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D.
Whether your idea of breakfast is eggs and toast or a bowl of cereal and milk, there are ample opportunities to work fruit — and even vegetables — into your meal.
Eggs on the menu? Saute diced onions, peppers, broccoli or mushrooms, then fold into an omelet or scrambled eggs. Or tuck slices of avocado and fresh pico de gallo salsa into a breakfast burrito.
Use fruit instead of jelly: Top toast with your favorite nut butter or low-fat ricotta and sliced fruit. Bananas are a classic choice, but pears and apple slices work well. Even fresh berries make a yummy alternative to jam or jelly.
Smash avocado onto toast: Avocados make for a heart-healthy toast topping.
Munch on cut-up veggies: Pair carrots, cucumbers, celery, jicama or bell peppers with your favorite dip.
Go for trail mix: Dried fruit also counts! Just 1/4 cup of raisins, dates, dried apricots or cherries is equivalent to a half-cup serving of fresh fruit. Combine it with a couple tablespoons of nuts for a snack that will keep you satisfied.
Have a slice of quick bread: Choose a bread that’s packed with zucchini, carrots, apples, pumpkin or banana for an extra boost. You might not get a full serving of fruits or vegetables, but it all adds up!
Load your sandwich with veggies: Whether you're making it yourself or ordering out, make sure to pile veggies onto your sandwich; lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, avocado, grated carrots, and sliced cucumber or sprouts all work.
Have a piece of fruit on the side: Choose a small apple or pear instead of chips.
Order a salad: You can add other yummy ingredients to make this a satisfying meal, but simply starting off with a base of greens guarantees you're getting a lot of your veggies for the day.
Make Fruits and Vegetables More Convenient
Roast or grill veggies once a week: Keep cooked veggies in your fridge for an easy salad topper or side.
Wash lettuce and store it in your salad spinner: It will be ready for you to use and will keep well for a few days.
Store cut-up veggies in your fridge: They'll make for an easy-to-pack snack.
Always bring a piece of fruit with you: Fruit is great to have at work for when hunger strikes.