You’re hungry and your tummy is rumbling? How about some fresh vegetables? If you immediately answered no, consider opening your mind to the possibility of integrating more healthy fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. There are some easy tips to sneak fruits and veggies into your day.
Oftentimes, when our tummies are grumbling, we reach for those high calorie options like chips and sweets that are providing our bodies with nothing more than empty calories and high levels of added fats and sugars. When it comes to meal times, many of us load up on proteins and carbs and skip the veggies.
Fruits and vegetables provide us with feelings of satiety at meal and snack times, and the nutrients and minerals aren’t too bad for us either! The United States Department of Agriculture¹ recommends that men and women 19 years and older should be eating two to three cups of vegetables each and every day. Specific recommendations vary depending on age and gender, but one thing is for sure – we all could benefit from consuming a variety of fruits and veggies!
There’s no need for you to dread meeting those daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies. The key is being able to find easy and fun ways to turn simple fruits and vegetables into delicious snacks and meals that are filling and nourishing. With a little bit of creativity, one can turn a boring vegetable or a plain piece of fruit into a delicious meal that provides your body with key micronutrients!
Here are 5 simple tips to integrate more fruits and veggies into your diet:
1. Dips Not Chips
Try baby carrots or sugar snap peas with a side of hummus. Carrots are rich sources of beta-carotene and fiber, and sugar snap peas are known for their abundant Vitamin C content. The carrots and peas offer a nice crunch element, while the hummus provides a burst of extra flavor to enhance the snack combination as a whole. Plus, the chickpea base provides your body with an extra kick of protein to keep you full and satisfied throughout your hectic day. You could also chop up some fresh cucumber slices, red peppers, or toss in a few cherry tomatoes to pair with the hummus, as well.
2. Go Nutty
Not a fan of hummus? Try pairing chopped celery and baby carrots with two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter. The nut butters are rich sources of Vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant in our bodies. According to the National Institutes of Health² (NIH), individuals 14 and older should consume approximately 15mg of Vitamin E on a daily basis. Vitamin E is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and dark leafy green vegetables, and is known for supporting healthy cell growth and function. The nut butters also provide that desired sweetness (and healthy fats) that we often look for in times of snacking.
3. Power Up with a Smoothie!
Maybe you’re not a fan of eating raw vegetables. Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone! Blending up an array of vegetables and fruits into a delicious smoothie could be the answer. You could even add in a scoop or two of your favorite Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest to provide that extra protein kick! No time to slice and dice? No problem! We've got tons of easy recipes you'll love!
4. Toss it Up
Kale. You may have heard people refer to kale as a superfood and for good reason! Kale is loaded with Vitamins A, K, and C, and is even a source of calcium. You can toss kale with a light vinaigrette, fresh fruit such as blueberries or clementine slices, and even some sliced almonds to create a balanced homemade salad. Or, you can add your favorite leafy green of your choice and mix up your salad game every day.
5. A Perfect Parfait
Trying to incorporate more fruit into your daily diet? Yogurt parfaits are a delicious option that you can create with a few simple ingredients at home! Blend a ¼ cup of fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries into a cup of your favorite plain or vanilla flavored plant-based yogurt. If you need a little crunch, sprinkle some granola or chopped nuts on top. Don’t have a blender? Don’t worry. You can simply add yogurt to a bowl and top with your favorite fresh fruit, seeds, nuts and granola, and you have a perfect parfait in seconds flat.
All it takes is a little bit of creativity and you can turn simple fruits and vegetables into delicious and satisfying meals and treats to enjoy any time of day. The blend of vitamins and minerals provided by vegetables such as peas, carrots, and peppers will keep your body fueled and energized. The sweetness provided by fresh berries can satisfy that sweet tooth of yours while also giving your body a healthy blend of micronutrients.