I will start this blog post off by saying you will never go wrong with adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Fruits and veggies contain a variety of beneficial nutrients, though the type determines which nutrients it contains and in what amounts. This mighty duo is generally super-rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants to your diet.
And on the subject of antioxidants — and because this tends to be a buzzword — let’s talk about what those are. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. Free radicals are linked to multiple illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The moral of the story? Try to eat more fruits and veggies!
How to add more fruits and veggies to your diet
I love fruit, but I try to limit my fruit intake to 2-3 servings a day. Most fruits are high in fructose which is the type of sugar found naturally in fruit, and I’ve talked about being mindful of sugar intake here. When it comes to vegetables though, I never think about limiting that intake! But I do try to be mindful with a variety of veggies that are mostly fresh. In the past, there was always a recommendation of servings, but even the Canada Food Guide now says to “have plenty of vegetables and fruits” instead of giving a finite number. Generally, the recommendation is for your greens, etc. to take up half your plate. For me, that means about 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies per day.
Here’s how I work that fibre into my diet:
- Add vegetables (and fruits) to breakfast. Throw some kale in your smoothie or some blueberries on your oatmeal.
- Eat more veggie soup. Check out my recipes for some ideas!
- Snack on vegetables. Chopped fresh veggies are always great to have as a snack. If you need a dip, try hummus — so delicious.
- Turn vegetables into noodles. This is actually kind of fun to do if you buy a spiralizer. Alternatively, you can buy them pre-done.
- Make lettuce wraps instead of regular wraps.
- Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
- Sub out meat in your pasta by adding extra veggies in your sauces.
- Try cauliflower rice or pizza crust. It’s actually pretty good!
- Roast veggies with spices in the oven for an added twist.
These are just a few ideas that work for me to add more fruits and veggies in my every day, and I’d love to hear yours. Share them in the comments!