Health & Wellness

Add More Vegetables To Your Diet

By Tawnya Manion | March 14, 2013

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Journal of Research most adults in the United States need to increase their vegetable intake to reach the recommended amount of five servings a day. The biggest problem with adding more plants to the diet is that most people prefer the starches and meats on their plates to the colorful vegetables.  However, consuming a plant-based diet works in our favor for a number of reasons.

To begin with, herbaceous plants are high in fiber and low in calories. On average, most contain between 25-50 calories and 3-5 grams of fiber a serving (1 cup of raw and 1/2 cup of cooked). The abundance of fiber coupled with the low caloric content allows a satiated feeling in the stomach even as less energy is consumed. The second convincing factor of ingesting the edible parts of plants consist of the copious amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water in them which in turn may help in preventing the onset of a variety of nutrigenomic diseases and premature aging. Lastly, vegetables prevent oxidation of the human cells. Decomposition of the physique happens when the functional units of the anthropocentric form mix with oxygen and begin to show wear and tear throughout the physique.To prevent experiencing the side effects of oxidation and to reap the numerous benefits plants provide to the body add these four simple tips to your daily routine.

 

Add vegetables to your fresh juices and smoothies. Verdant produce, such as spinach, lettuce, and sprouts, contain Vitamin K, which helps speed the healing of scars and evens out skin discoloration. Vegetables and fruits with Vitamin C, like peppers, tomatoes, and oranges, help with cellular repair and help fight acne. Vitamin E, in carrots and beets is necessary for maintenance and repair of skin tissue. So, though you might not like vegetables, your skin practically begs for them.

Say yes to salads. Eating a dish of vegetables every day, or better yet replacing a meal with a salad increases the amount of fiber consumed and helps you eat the recommended daily amount of vegetable. It works like this, one cup of leafy greens is one serving, a pile of healthy toppings is a second serving, add chopped veggies add another serving. By this point you have munched about half of your daily amount in one meal.

Oven bake chips. Who doesn’t love chips? This popular side dish doesn’t have to bog your digestion down with excess fat and salt. It can be recreated by using a variety of different vegetables and  baking them in the oven. I have found kale, sweet potatoes, and breaded green beans work great at becoming crisp in the oven. Use a mandolin to cut potatoes and yams to ensure that each chip is uniform and thin.

Sneak vegetables into your dishes. Boil cauliflower or celery root and mash with potatoes. Dice carrots and peppers and mix with ground meat when constructing a meatloaf or a lasagna. Shred parsnips and mix with potatoes when assembling hash browns. Add tomatoes and green peppers on top baked potatoes.

Either way you slice it, the more vegetables you add to your diet the more benefits you will receive from them.

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