Five Fun Food Hacks for Adding More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Eating right and maintaining a healthy weight on a daily basis can be a challenge, and you might find yourself unexpectedly packing on some extra pounds. However, you are probably not alone in this struggle, as according to a report by The Journal of the American Medical Association, over thirty percent of adults in America are currently obese. One step toward eating healthier is to add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet, and there are five fun and simple ways to do so that may help put you back on the path to feeling your best.
1. Keep Fruit On Hand, Not Out of Sight
How many times have you bought a pack of fresh raspberries or a bag of apples with the intent of snacking on them but then let accidentally let them go moldy in the fridge because they got shoved behind the milk or into the back of the crisper? To keep this from happening and to remind yourself to eat at least two servings of fruit a day, keep it in your line of sight. Put a bowl of apples and bananas on your kitchen table or by the front door and store berries with a food they can be paired with daily, such as yogurt, so you remember to use them.
2. Make Soup Into a Super Food
Savory soups can make a delicious meal, no matter the time of year, and adding fruits and vegetables to a homemade soup can turn it into a powerhouse of antioxidants and much-needed vitamins. Carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers of all kinds, mushrooms, and onions are all viable choices for making a healthy fall stew, and fruit soups filled with a mix of berries, cantaloupe, pineapples, and strawberries can be both refreshing and wholesome for the summer months. With so many soup recipes to choose from, you should be able to add at least two or three servings of fruits and veggies to each.
3. Make Your Own Grab-and-Go Snacks
While they can be convenient, vending machine snacks are sometimes full of empty calories and added sugar. This kind of convenience may also be why almost 90 percent of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to a recent survey. However, you can scale back trips to the vending machine at work by making your own snack packs. Pack up portable baggies of grapes, celery and peanut butter, orange slices, or a honeydew and cantaloupe mix so that when the urge to snack strikes, you have a healthy alternative to vending machine chips or cookies.
4. Add Fruit to Each Meal
It is simple to add fruit to every meal, even if you find yourself in a time crunch. For example, sprinkle berries in your yogurt before you go out the door or add banana slices to your cereal. For a leisurely Sunday breakfast, add strawberries or blueberries to your waffles or pancakes or create a fresh fruit plate. For lunch, add avocado or tomato slices to your sandwich. You can even choose plant-based spreads, such as mayonnaise from Hampton Creek Foods, to include in your daily recipes. You can find these, along with Hampton Creek coupons and more, on the company’s Facebook page.
5. Whip It Up
One way to get a full serving of fruits or vegetables is to prepare a smoothie as either a companion to a meal or as a nourishing snack. Smoothies are both versatile and tasty, and you can toss just about anything into the blender when it comes to ingredients. One cup of fruit or veggies equals one full serving, so it is important that you measure before you blend. Use spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce for a green veggie smoothie and toss in a spoonful of almond butter to cut the taste of the greens if you find it too strong.
Depending on the types of fruits and vegetables you use and the diet you are following, a fruit or veggie smoothie can even replace a meal if you are pressed for time. Morning smoothies are especially effective for getting in a serving or two of fruit and you can take them almost anywhere. However, you may want to discuss this course of action with your doctor or nutritionist to ensure you are still getting the recommended daily intake of calories you need to stay healthy.
Eating more fruits and vegetables has a number of advantages, such as boosting the amount of antioxidants in your body and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Using these quick and easy hacks for adding more of these superfoods to your daily diet can go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy for years to come.