You’re not new to the concept that vegetables are good for you.
You likely know that they are loaded with nutrition, fiber and energy. Increasing your vegetable intake improves your risk of nearly all lifestyle diseases1, improves your digestion/microbiome2, balances your bodyweight3 and helps your body to detoxify more effectively.
Most Americans are not getting the number of servings they need each day. For optimal health, you really want 4-8 cups/day, depending on body size, activity level, age and what specific vegetables you are choosing.
Also, I am a total fan of the starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash, peas)…go ahead and eat them…however they technically fall more into a “starch” category (that would include beans, lentils, whole grains, potatoes, squash, etc), so for the purpose of this post, we are referring more to the non-starchy vegetables, which tend to be harder for some people to get in to their daily routine.
This will serve as a quick brainstorm of 31 ways you can get more vegetables into your diet. Variety is key both in what veggies you’re getting as well as how you prepare them. For most people, variety is what keeps you from getting bored with your food program.
To increase veggies in your diet, here are some ideas:
- Raw veggies with hummus
- Raw veggies with guacamole
- Raw veggies with dill/ranch dip (vegan, of course)
- Leafy green salads
- Kale or zucchini chips (dehydrated is best but you can bake them as well)
- Vegetable based soups
- Chilis or stews
- Raw veggies- plain (great for travel)
- Steamed veggies
- Chopped salads
- Roasted veggies
- Grilled veggies
- Marinated veggies
- Veggie wraps (use hummus as a “sauce” and lettuce or a whole grain tortilla as the wrap)
- Vegetable art- for example, if you make a vegetable tray look like a rainbow, kids are especially more likely to partake
- Add to rice (to make your own veggie rice pilaf)
- Add sprouts and/or lettuce to sandwiches or pitas
- Blend veggies into a smoothie
- Fresh vegetable juices
- Coleslaw with a healthy dressing
- Sneak them into tacos (chopped onion, tomatoes, shredded carrots or cabbage)
- Add them to tofu scrambles (chopped onion, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, etc)
- Add them to your applesauce (blend your apples with a bit of carrot for example)
- Sneak them into wraps
- Sneak them into sushi
- Sneak them into mashed potatoes (cauliflower, parsnips or rutabaga are great this way)
- Fermented- sour kraut, kim chi
- Homemade salsa
- Try a new vegetable- artichokes, green onion, jicama, broccolini or golden beats
- Homemade pico de gallo (so easy to make, especially if you have a food processor)
- Ignore the rules about what you “should” eat for breakfast and eat them whenever you want- yes, even for breakfast!
As always, I want eating to be fun, satisfying, and enjoyable for you…so if you see something you don’t like, skip it…choose your favorite ways to get your veggies and stick with them. Keep in mind using new spices, trying new vegetables, and even preparing them a new way can be helpful too when it comes to sticking with a whole food plant-based diet for the long haul.
I hope you print this out and refer to it often and share it with your health friends! It is a true honor to help you regain, restore, and maintain radiant health!
If you need help with a current health challenge, don’t wait for it to get worse. You’re worth the investment. Reach out to the New Hope Health Clinic today. 269-204-6525 or email us at FrontDesk@NewHopeHealth.com
1. Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012. doi:10.3945/an.112.002154
2. Tomova A, Bukovsky I, Rembert E, et al. The effects of vegetarian and vegan diets on gut microbiota. Front Nutr. 2019. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00047
3. Matheson EM, King DE, Everett CJ. Healthy lifestyle habits and mortality in overweight and obese individuals. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2012.01.110164
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.