One of the best ways to get essential vitamins and minerals is by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Research indicates that diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several forms of cancer. Here are 5 ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Smoothies are quick, easy and full of taste. Great for a meal or dessert, just blend your favorite berries, a banana and some leafy greens for a nutrient-packed drink.
- Salads are an excellent way to incorporate leafy greens in your diet. Try enhancing your salad by adding berries, peaches, water chestnuts, peas and shredded carrots. With so much natural flavor, you may not even need dressing!
- Dip your fruit or veggie in a sauce. Try dipping bananas, strawberries, pineapple chunks and grapes in some yogurt flavored with cinnamon. Hummus is a protein-packed dip that goes well with celery, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, olives, radishes, cherry tomatoes and jicama.
- Stir fry nutrient-rich vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, green onions, bell peppers and sugar snap peas for a fun and quick complement to any meal.
- Dress your sandwich or wrap with lettuce, tomato, avocado chunks, sliced bell peppers, olives and cucumber slices. By adding some color, texture and flavor, you’ve just tripled your vitamin and mineral consumption — all with very few additional calories.
Larson N, Laska MN, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D. Predictors of fruit and vegetable intake in young adulthood. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012; 112: 1216-1222.