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Get Your 5 A Day

It is very well established in research that the more fruits and veggies you eat, the less your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Buying produce may seem more costly at times, but it beats getting cancer in my book. Additionally, the cost of treating disease is exponentially greater than the extra dollars spent at the grocery store on a weekly basis.

Here are some tips for sneaking in those fruits and veggies:

  • Shoot for eating 2 fruits and 3 vegetable servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked veg or 1 cup raw) each day

  • If spoiled produce is a regular occurrence at your house, try buying frozen. They’re just as healthy, if not healthier because they are flash frozen right when picked, locking in their peak nutrition.

  • Throw finely chopped veggies (onion, peppers, mushroom, carrot, spinach) into pasta sauces, casseroles or other saucy dishes.

  • Change up your snack: dip carrot and/or bell pepper sticks into hummus. For fruits, snack on 2 clementines or an apple paired with a handful of nuts.

  • Puree broccoli, peas, kale or edamame to use as a sauce/pesto for pasta –> http://www.thefreshbeet.com/bowtie-pasta-with-edamame-puree/

  • Do your research – if you don’t cook much or don’t know how, spend a couple minutes perusing recipe websites to get an idea of some veggie recipes that are appealing to you.

  • Stir fry is an easy way to get in some vegetables – add some chicken or tofu for protein if you like.

  • Cook enough for leftovers – if you’ve got veggies in your leftovers, you’ve got veggies for tomorrows lunch.

  • Vary your fruits and vegetables – these foods all have unique nutrients to bring to the table so vary them as much as possible. The nutrients in these foods (many of which we have yet to discover)  work synergistically so choose foods with different colors to ensure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients.

Not quite sure how to fit them in?

Fruit: Try having a piece of fruit for breakfast and snack on another during the day

Veg: Add some bell pepper, onion and spinach or kale onto a sandwich for lunch along with a side of carrots dipped in hummus or salad dressing; then have 1 cup cooked veggies as a side for dinner.

As always, use your creativity 🙂

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