Quick Tips To Add More Fruits & Vegetables To Your Diet

 In General Health, Guelph Naturopathic Doctor

Quick Tips To Add More Fruits and Vegetables To Your Diet

A big piece of most New Year’s resolutions set forth this year will be…. “to eat a healthier diet”.  But what does that mean and how can we incorporate it into our daily lives?  As we discussed in last weeks blog Top 3 Tips to keeping your resolutions, it’s about making your goals SMART.  So my suggestion is to start with fruits and veggies.  Fruits and veg are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and fibre that are amazing at promoting health and fighting many diseases.   So  how do you start?

1. Eat the Rainbow:  I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it’s important to eat a variety of colours to maximize the different phytonutrients that each colour contains.  There are 5 main groups; red, blue, yellow/orange, green and white.  You’ll want to aim for around 2 of each colour during the day.  Check out this great infographic from Naturally Healthy Concepts on the 5 colours of phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients-Infographic4

 

2.  Add In: It’s important to add fruits and especially vegetables to the foods that your already eating.  Get creative, veggies and fruit can go everywhere!

Spaghetti sauce- Add carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, spinach or kale to the sauce to boost the nutrition level.

Spaghetti Noodles- try using zucchini thinly sliced as noodles, or baking a spaghetti squash and using it’s flesh as the “noodles” for your sauce.

Muffins– Add apple sauce, banana, carrots or zucchini to the batter.

Breakfast Pancakes–  Try sweet potato or pumpkin pancakes for more nutrition and a pop of colour.

Breakfast Frittata- add loads of veg to your Sunday morning frittata like tomatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, kale, peppers or broccoli.

Rice– a paleo friendly trick I learned was to use grated cauliflower in-lieu of rice as my side dish.  Finely grate the cauliflower, sauté it in a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil and add some parsley for a quick, easy, healthy carb cutting substitute.

Wraps– on fajita night or for wraps at lunch, try using greens as your wrap instead of a wheat tortilla.  You can try cabbage, Boston lettuce or romaine hearts  as the wraps for your delicious stuffing.

Dress up your veggies–  steamed veggies are yummy but can get boring.  Try roasting, sauté or baking your veggies to change the taste and texture or try adding spices or garlic to give them that extra punch.  Maybe add seeds or nuts like sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds to take your veggies to the next level.

Snack Time– pre cut your veggies on the weekend so they’re easy to grab and go for lunches or as after work, after school snack.  Pair them with hummus, homemade guacamole or black bean dip.

Smoothies- Yes I’ve said it many times, but smoothies are such an amazing way to get lots of jammed packed nutrition in a small amount of space.  Try different fruit and veg combos to fit your tastes.  Feeling tropical?  Use pineapple, mangos, oranges and spinach.  Feeling berry good? Use mixed berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries, banana and kale.  Adding greens in a smoothie is easy and tastes yummy.  I promise, you won’t even taste them!

3.  Short on Time:  I understand that days are busy and life can get really hectic.  So one of my sure fire ways to get fruits and veggies in on a daily basis (beyond a great diet) is a greens powder.  Think of it as the “Dummies Guide to Fruit and Veggies”.   It is probably one of easiest ways to start adding more fruit and veg without much fuss.  Many companies make greens powders, but my favourite is Organic Greens & Reds by Douglas Labs.   One serving a day (a small scoop) provides 4-5 servings of organic fruits and veggies and can be mixed in water or a milk substitute or added to your smoothie. Check Out what’s in it:

Organic Greens & RedsGreen Foods

Organic Wheat Grass (young leaf), Organic Green, Tea Extract (leaf), Organic Carrot powder (root), Organic Broccoli powder (aerial parts), Organic Cauliflower powder (aerial parts), Organic Kale powder (aerial parts), Organic Parsley powder (aerial parts), Organic Spirulina (entire plant), Organic Chlorella (entire plant), Organic Milk Thistle Extract (seed), Organic Beet powder (root).

Fruits

Organic Raspberry powder (fruit), Organic Tomato powder (fruit), Organic Acerola Extract (fruit), Organic Strawberry (fruit), Organic mango (fruit), Organic Mountain Cranberry (fruit), Organic Hawthorne Berry Extract (fruit), Organic Apple (fruit), Organic Black Currant powder (fruit), Organic Pomegranate extract (kernel), Organic Blueberry powder (fruit), Organic Acai (fruit), Organic Plum Extract (fruit).

Fiber and Enzymes

Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Flax Seed powder,Organic Inulin and an Enzyme Blend of Cellulose, Protease, Amylase and Lipase.

Isn’t that great?  If your goal is 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day, by taking a greens powder, you’ve already consumed over 1/2 the recommended daily servings with one scoop.  Now add on top of that staring to work on adding more veggies and fruits during the day and your new year’s resolution is achieved!

4. Start Now:   For some reason we always think, I won’t start now, I’ll start on Monday.  There is nothing magical about Monday.  Unfortunately, there is no motivational fairy arriving at your house on Sunday night making Monday the day that everything is going to change.   If your ready to change your dietary habits, change them….start today.  Try adding just a few of the suggestions above or try a greens powder.  I promise, you’ll feel better about yourself, your health and you’ll improve energy and mood!

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