When we were younger, we were told, “eat your vegetables.” Surprise, surprise mothers really do know best – veggies aren’t just good for our growing bodies as kids; as we get older, we need these nutrient-dense foods to help us stay lean, keep our hearts healthy, and get that glowing skin we’ve always wanted. The rich nutrient content in vegetables have many potential health benefits such as preventing the risk of certain diseases (cardiovascular, cancer, obesity, etc), helping us look better, feel better, and stay healthy.
If you are anything like me and the other 7.4 billion people in the world, you love posting pictures on social media and letting people take a glimpse into your life. Whether it’d be a home cooked meal or an artistic plate from a fancy restaurant, we love to take pictures of food. As we all know a picture of a plain ham sandwich on white bread is boring. There is something about capturing a plate of vividly colored fruits and vegetables that makes you crave healthy food like never before. Next time you put food on your plate be sure to order or make something that includes all the colors of the rainbow, like vegetables. It will incentivize you to eat more fruits and veggies, and will also probably win you some new followers as well.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you fill half of your plate with vegetables in order to reach the recommended daily intake (2-3 cups). Non-veggie eaters and the average American may have trouble reaching these recommended levels, but luckily there are easy ways to incorporate more of these colorful foods into your diet!
Juicing – One of today’s hottest trends is to juice vegetables and fruits. This technique makes it easier to get a day’s worth of vitamins and minerals.
Double Servings – When cooking, add double the normal amount of vegetables to your dish, you won’t even know they’re there!
Meatless Mondays – Have a veggie-filled day and go meatless for one or more days out of the week.
Starch Swap – Switch out breads and pastas for starchy vegetables (lettuce wraps & spaghetti squash). This way you can have your starch and eat it too!
Spice It Up – Add spices and herbs to your vegetables. This way you gain extra nutrients (antioxidants) and make your plate more appetizing!
Some of us may be unaware that not all vegetables are the same, and some are higher in calories than others. Starches are found in plants as the storage form of glucose. Essentially being glucose, a starch provides food with a high carbohydrate count and more calories than a non-starchy food. Starchy foods are breads, pastas, pastries and surprisingly enough some vegetables (potatoes, corns, beans, etc). Vegetables that are high in starch are still packed with vitamins and minerals, just with more carbs and calories. Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, brussel sprouts, etc) are great sources of fiber, keeping you full longer and have less than half of the calories as starchy vegetables, helping with weight loss.
Content Checked Holdings, Inc. has a family of health apps – ContentChecked, SugarChecked, and MigraineChecked that help users make more suitable choices at the grocery stores, based off of their personalized dietary needs. Download all three apps for free in the App Store or Google Play. Have questions about Nutrition, Weight Loss, Food Allergies or Migraines? Get your Nutrition questions answered by our team of Nutritionists by connecting with us on social media: @contentchecked, @sugarchecked, @migrainechecked.