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Nutrition experts recommend eating five to seven helpings of vegetables and fruits a day.

Eating more vegetables and fewer processed foods could help in loosing weight, cleaning arteries, balancing blood sugar, and ultimately shutting down a large number of hospitals. If a plate of steamed veggies is more of a torture than a treat, there are plenty of ways to reap the benefits and still enjoy your favourite meals. Try the following strategies for sneaking more nutrition into daily diet.

Pack in powerful greens and be creative with salads

One of the most commonly used veggies in salad is lettuce but, unfortunately, it doesn’t provide many of the nutrients needed from a healthy meal. It is recommended to replace these less efficient leaves with salad such as raw baby spinach or watercress that provide vitamin A, folate and vitamin B. In case of kids; if they happen to like salad, one can be creative by cutting up a bunch of different veggies so that they can make a colorful and fun to eat salad.

Serve raw vegetables at every meal

Nearly everyone likes carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, string beans, cherry tomatoes, and/or green pepper strips. All these vegetables are healthy; with virtually no calories, have a satisfying crunch, and can substantially help in cutting consumption of the more calorie-dense main course. So make it a practice: A plate of raw vegetables in the center of the table, no matter what the meal is.

Stealthy sauce

Wholegrain pasta has more fibre than the more refined version, and is therefore better for the heart and the hips. It can be topped with a low fat tomato sauce and roasted vegetables, and this substitution most possibly goes unnoticed. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower can be blended into this tomato sauce. You might even consider pureeing onions, carrots, and peppers and adding them directly into a tomato sauce. Thus, fewer calories and more vegetables are consumed from this diet.

Boost the benefits of bread

It is wise to swap the regular white sliced pan for a wholegrain variety, or even go for a fortified variety that provides a rich supply of calcium and vitamins. Whole grains are good sources of fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins including folic acid, and other important nutrients.

Substitute soy

Soy milk can occasionally replace regular milk to get more antioxidants.

Camouflage vegetables

Vegetables can be camouflaged in the following ways: Mash other root vegetables like turnip or celeriac into mashed potatoes, roast strips of sweet potato or parsnip to replace chips or shape veggies like nuggets to make them more attractive to kids. Hide the veggies in a grated form and add to traditional favorite foods like brown rice, pasta dishes, and whole wheat macaroni and cheese.

Mash some boiled cauliflower into the mashed potatoes. Shred some cabbage with lettuce for toppings on tacos or sandwiches. Cut up some green beans or soft-boiled broccoli stems into small pieces, and mix into chunky salsa. Mix taco or burrito filling with finely grated carrots. Add small cuts of very soft-boiled sweet potato or spaghetti squash to fruit salads made with cantaloupe or peach chunks.

Hide veggies in meat

Low fat turkey or lean mince burgers can be topped with grated carrots, chopped mushrooms or mango chutney. It provides fibre, vitamins and minerals with fewer calories.

Sneak fruits and vegetables into breakfast and lunch

Blend up a banana, another fruit portion such as a handful of strawberries or a nectarine, a pot of yoghurt and a dash of milk for a breakfast rich in fruit and calcium. Another way to add more fruit into your diet is to prepare a fresh fruit breakfast smoothie every morning. Use a favorite fruit and create a smoothie that is more of a breakfast treat than anything else. Egg scrambles can be made a regular breakfast, using a scrambled egg to hold together sautéed vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, or onions.

Add beans to the menu

Beans and lentils are terrific sources of fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, and other crucial nutrients. Even a quarter cup of kidney beans provides a hefty dose of fiber. Try black bean chili or three-bean salad. Nutty-tasting garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) make a pretty good substitute for meat in pasta dishes. Baked beans also make a great side dish; to keep the fat content low, a brand without added meat like franks or pork can be chosen.

Once a week, have an entrée salad

Mixed greens, steamed green beans, boiled potatoes, sliced hard-boiled egg, and tuna drizzled with vinaigrette could be a salad eaten for dinner. It can be served with crusty whole grain bread.

Avoid peeling produce

The skin and membranes of apples, pears, potatoes, and many other fruits and veggies are stores of fiber, so avoid peeling these things. Just be sure to rinse produce thoroughly before serving. If there are any concerns about pesticide residue and organic produce is within your affordability, then that's a good option.

Go for an oil change

When baking, reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by one-third and replace half the fat with half that amount of pureed figs, mashed banana or grated apple. Not only will the recipes be lighter in calories and fat, they’ll also provide more fibre, potassium and vitamins.

Put power into flour

Replace half the flour in low fat recipes with wholegrain flour to add some fibre and B vitamins.

Supplement soups and sauces

Add kidney beans or chickpeas to make soups more filling and protein-rich. Toss in broccoli florets or cut green beans to boost the health benefits. Toss finely chopped mushrooms and chopped peppers into tomato sauce. The sauce will mask the taste, but will provide valuable vitamins and antioxidants.

Add vegetables to your weekly pizza

If you are going to eat pizza, make it healthier and add more vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers and spinach.


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