Suggestions to increase your vegetable intake

Why is there an indifference to vegetables?

What’s the thing that makes certain people enjoy vegetables, while others not? Genetics might play a role. It has been proven that people who do not like cruciferous vegetables (i.e. people who do not like broccoli, cauliflower, or the brussels sprouts (i.e. cabbage) are more susceptible to PROP (a bitter flavor component). It also likely that you did not grow up eating vegetables therefore did not develop a taste for these vegetables. Many of us aren’t fond of the texture of vegetables. Whatever the case may be most people are not consuming adequate amounts of vegetables for good health.

Vegetables have many nutritional benefits

Vegetables contain a wealth of nutrients, including minerals, vitamins like calcium potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, anti-inflammatory antioxidants, vegan greens vitamins and phytochemicals. They are beneficial to the health of your gastrointestinal tract and can lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of developing diseases like heart disease and cancer. The vegetables also aid in weight loss, as they make you feel fuller and do not add calories.

What is the serving size for vegetables?

One serving is equal to a half-cup of cooked, raw or puréed vegetables (including tomato sauce and vegetable soup), one cup of fresh leafy greens or 4 to 6 eight ounces of juice.

Here are some suggestions to increase your vegetable intake

1. Keep your eyes open! You can learn to appreciate vegetables.

2. It is possible to sneak them into your favorite recipes. You can add shredded carrots to meatloaf and zucchini slices to lasagna. Incorporate vegetables into your pizza slice. You can add chopped onions and carrots to your soup. If those tiny chunks of veggies turn you off you, then try pureeing them to disguise them.

3. Try a different method of cooking. Try roasting or grilling vegetables instead of steaming. The cooking methods used can alter the texture of vegetables and add more flavor. For example I’m not a big fan of the fat of steamed asparagus, but love grilled asparagus that is drizzled with olive oil. It’s the same for eggplant.

4. If you’re not a fan of cooked vegetables, try eating raw ones. It can alter the texture. Sometimes, the dislike of vegetables can be more of a matter of texture.

5. Incorporate different veggies into salads (red pepper, chopped grape tomatoes, carrots, chopped steamed broccoli, etc). In order to increase the nutritional value, you can opt for spinach or darker green lettuce as your basis.

6. Use interesting sauces on vegetables to make them more appealing to the eye. Here are some ideas:

Teriyaki sauce, olive oil, and a pinch of parmesan cheese are all you need. You might like spicy and hot foods. Include a bit of hot sauce to your veggies. You might prefer sweeter foods and should look for marinades or sauces that is sweeter. But, if you are watching your weight, check the calorie content of the sauces.

7. If you’re a fan of sweets, try making mashed sweet potatoes or winter squash with some cinnamon and brown sugar.

8. Drinking your vegetables is a great option when you’re concerned about their texture. Juice them (try adding an apple or beets with the greens to increase the sweetness). Commercial juices of vegetables, such as V8 juice, can be purchased. You might prefer the lower sodium versions, as the regular juices are high in sodium.

9. Make sure you are consuming several servings of fruits a day. Although fruit may not contain the same nutrients as vegetables, they do provide a variety of nutrients (vitamin C and fiber, antioxidants , and phytochemicals, for instance).

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