We're all encouraged to eat healthier and there are some simple ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet that will make you feel healthier and more energized every day. Those of you with small children may have the daily battle of encouraging your little cherubs to eat their greens or opt for fruit instead of candy and potato chips, which can be a chore. Fortunately there are some simple strategies to add variety and ensure that we can all benefit from the wide range of vitamins and minerals that are present in the many fruit and vegetables out there. So here are my top ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet.
1 Juicy Lucy
One of my favorite ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet is through juicing and smoothies. Carrot and ginger juice is my current veggie juice of choice, and while it gives me a boost, it's great for eye health and is super energizing when you're feeling a little low on battery life. There are so many varieties of juices and smoothies you can make, which involve blending your favorite fruit and veg, it's just a case of being imaginative. One of my favorites is a refreshing red pepper, celery and kale juice for a healthy pick-me-up.
I love omelets, so another way to sneak more vegetables into your diet is to add veggies to your omelet. I love adding peppers, broccoli, courgettes and spinach to my omelets for a veggie and protein feast. It's a quick and easy meal which doesn't take much thought or preparation and it's super healthy too.
3 "Chips" N Dips
How about a healthier alternative to your chips n dips? Chop up some vegetables, such as carrots, celery and sliced peppers, and dip them into your favorite dips, such as hummus and salsa. Cherry tomatoes are another great alternative and I always have a pot of chopped veggies for when the Munchy Monster comes a knockin', as it's a healthy and satisfying way to send him on his travels. These can be a great addition to your little monster's lunch box too.
4 Variety is the Spice of Life
There are so many different types of fruit and vegetables from around the world to try, so be sure to experiment and try as many as possible. It's great to incorporate something different into your diet each week if you can. Not only will this keep your diet fresh and new, and therefore help you avoid the boredom factor, you will be able to benefit from the many vitamins and minerals present in these exotic foods from around the world, such as bok choy and long beans from China and kabocha squash from Japan.
5 You Saucy Thing
Why not try adding some vegetables to your favorite sauces for pasta? You could chop some peppers or add spinach to your tomato sauces. Kale or any other greens will also work in your sauces or just add the vegetables straight to your pasta without the sauce if you prefer. I add vegetables to pretty much anything, as not only does it bulk up your meal, it's far healthier than adding more meat or dosing up on too many carbohydrates.
6 Snack Attack
Try to substitute your favorite bag of chips or your candy bar with fruit or vegetables. Make yourself a fruit salad for the afternoon energy slump or mid-morning munchies. Bananas and yoghurt with a sprinkle of chia seed are a great afternoon snack and one of my favorites. You could also try some exotic fruits like vitamin A and beta carotene-rich papaya, mango or kumquats to add more variety to your diet. Another alternative is dried fruit, such as apricots or dates, although don't go overboard as the sugar content is higher in the dried fruit variety.
7 Super Start
A great way to start the day is to add some fruit to your breakfast. How about sprinkling anti-oxidant rich blueberries or any other berries to your oatmeal or granola? How about a chopped banana scattered over your almond spread on toast? Or stir some chopped apple into your oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon? All delicious and healthy.
These are just a few ways to jazz up your diet and try and incorporate more fruit and veg into it. In Britain, we're encouraged to eat five fruits and vegetables a day and I know that this amount varies depending on where you are in the world. Personally, I go well over that number because I love fruit and veg, so why stop at five! What sort of things do you do to add more of these healthy foodstuffs to your diet?