We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for us. They have the highest nutrient density of all the food groups, which means they offer the highest number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber, for the lowest calorie count. That means you can eat more of these foods and still maintain a healthy weight. In fact, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables can be as beneficial as decreasing your intake of less healthy foods – when you add more of them to your diet, they naturally edge out the unhealthy options. For example, if you add an extra serving of spinach to your plate at dinner and eat that first, you’ll fill up faster and eat less of the meat or starches. At the same time, you’ll be benefiting from all the extra vitamins, minerals, and water you get from the extra leafy greens!
So with all these benefits, why is getting more fruits and vegetables into our diets so hard? Often the issue is that we’re out of ideas, short on time, and simply don’t know how to go about it. In this video, I discuss some simple, delicious ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet at each meal. Try just one of these strategies a day and you could be getting seven more servings of fruits and vegetables each week!
Set yourself up for success by stocking up your fridge with fruits and vegetables that don’t require a lot of preparation, like apples and baby carrots. For larger vegetables, like a head of broccoli, wash and cut them up as soon as you get home from the grocery store so that you don’t lose momentum and let them sit forgotten in the crisper.
Bonus recipe! Try this recipe for mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes at your next holiday dinner! You’ll get the same creamy taste with fewer calories. This recipe makes enough for 2-3 servings.
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Jason Machowsky is a sports dietitian, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and certified personal trainer at the Tisch Performance Center. He has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a masters degree from Columbia University.