10 Genius Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies Every Day from 10 Genius Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies Every Day

10 Genius Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies Every Day

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10 Genius Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies Every Day

Eating healthier is a lot about consuming more fruits and vegetables. They add essential nutrients to diets, reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and help manage healthy body weight.

The problem is that 87 percent of Americans don't meet the recommendations for fruit consumption, and 91 percent don't for vegetable consumption, according to a recent U.S. report.

The recommended servings is two fruits and three vegetables daily, Rebecca Lewis, registered dietitian, says. “We should think beyond the typical salad bowl to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets,” she adds. Obviously, that approach doesn’t work.

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Use the Grill

Summer BBQs are not just for burgers and hotdogs. Grill fruits and vegetables as well, Lewis says. Cooking some of them unlocks nutrients of which you won’t get enough otherwise. “Tomatoes have lycopene (which helps protect against cancer). It is more available when the tomatoes are cooked,” she adds. Spinach is another food you may not want to eat raw. The oxalic acid binds with calcium, making it unavailable for use by our bodies. Grilled fruits are an excellent healthy dessert as the natural sugar caramelizes, making the flavor richer.  

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Make Kebabs

“We get bored cooking the same thing over and over,” Lewis says. So change the technique a little bit. Whether you're baking or firing up the grill, adding bell pepper, onion or pineapple to your shrimp, chicken or beef skewers makes for a beautiful and delicious kid-friendly feast. Children are more likely to eat the kebabs because they’ll use their hands, she adds.  

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Roast Them

Nothing’s easier than chopping your favorite veggies, tossing them with olive oil and herbs, and simply letting them roast in the oven for 20 minutes for a flavorful dinner without the hassle. An added bonus is that your home will smell amazing, Lewis says. You can also use a slow cooker but for hardy vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.

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Make Noodles

Spiralize zucchini, carrots, beets, cucumbers or sweet potatoes into noodles for a healthy and easy pasta swap. The trick is to use fresh vegetables, especially if they have high water content, and to eat them within a day after preparing, Lewis says. “This is a fun way and technique to add texture,” she adds.

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Mix it Up

Smoothies are better than juicing because you keep all the fiber,” Lewis says. It's easy to eat spinach, carrots or avocado when it's blended with fruit. Try half a banana or a piece of mango, and a touch of plain yogurt or milk. This is perfect for after a sweat-inducing workout, green smoothies provide you with healthy carbs and loads of nutrients. It’s really important to remember; however, to always add veggies to your smoothies to balance all the sugar from the fruits, she adds. Keep the veggies to fruits ratio 1:1.  

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Freeze Them

Buy fruits and vegetables at their peak of freshness and freeze them for later. “They retain all their nutrients and save you money by buying in season,” Lewis says. Her favorite is blending frozen bananas with almond milk for a healthy twist on ice cream.

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Bake with Them

“I know this sounds crazy but it’s very good for you,” Lewis says. While baking, swap a ½ tablespoon of avocado (unsaturated fat) for 1 tablespoon of butter (saturated fat), or swap apple sauce, mashed banana or pumpkin puree for oils to reduce the amount of fat. Also try adding black beans to your brownie batch for some added protein. “No one will ever know and this is a great source of added fiber.” Another unexpected use of avocado is swapping the cream in your muse with it.

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Be Sneaky

“If you have a picky eater, grate up veggies like zucchini or carrots to add to your meatballs, tomato sauce or even muffins,” Lewis says. “You won’t see or taste them.” You can also make hummus, a satisfying snack that won't destroy your diet, pink with some beets or add kale to your next batch of pesto. 

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Make it Easy

“Make eating fruits and veggies easy by also keeping some washed, sliced and ready-to-go for an easy snack,” Lewis says. Even better, pair berries, bananas, apples, carrots or celery with your favorite nut butter to  make a fiber and protein filled snack.

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Chip Alternative

You can eat kale, radishes, zucchini, golden or red beets, and sweet potatoes without them looking so healthy. Eat them as chips. This way you control how much salt and oil is added. Just slice some potatoes, rinse, add water and a little salt. Let them soak for a few minutes and drain. You can also add a drop of olive oil and bake at 365 degrees.  

10 Genius Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies Every Day