Many of us know that we need to increase the number of fruits and vegetables we consume, but it can seem like a daunting proposition. However, it doesn’t have to be. Taking small steps can produce big results. Sensible steps can make it easier to eat more fruits and vegetables, even in today’s busy world.
Here are some tips to guide you in maintaining a healthier diet with fruits and veggies.
Start a Garden at Home for Fresh Options
One of the easiest ways to ensure that there are more fruits and vegetables in your diet is to create a backyard or container garden. This can become a hobby that allows you to be close to nature. To be successful, grow the things that you love.
Another key to success is to start small. A smaller garden plot will allow you to learn without a huge investment of time or money. One thing to understand is that you will have to deal with weeds. There are 30,000 species of weeds that can affect your gardening efforts. You’ll also have to learn about dealing with pests that may affect the quality of fruits and vegetables that you produce.
Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
This tip will not only make rushed weeknight meals much easier and convenient, but it also allows you to be more thoughtful about the components of each meal. Many people prepare a week of meals on Sunday afternoon and tuck them into the fridge or freezer. Then, when mealtime comes or you need a lunch for work, it’s already prepared and simply needs reheating.
Add Fruit to Food You Typically Eat for Breakfast
This is a simple way to add additional fruit to your diet. Simply add fruit to your yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal for an extra burst of flavor. Not only will it give an extra boost, but it will also add anthocyanins to your diet. These are responsible for a 12% risk reduction for high blood pressure.
Cook Heartier Vegetarian Dishes
Even if you don’t practice vegetarianism, serving a vegetarian meal once or twice a meal will increase the number of vegetables in your diet. This will make it easier for finicky family members.
Today, there are so many vegetarian recipes freely available that use ingredients that can be found in your grocery store. The broader appeal of a plant-based diet has led to the development of many tasty dishes that will appeal to a wide range of preferences.
Even if you are unable to serve vegetarian dishes, make any meat a side dish; then, make vegetables and grains the central focus on the plate.
Stock Up On Frozen Fruits and Veggies for Convenience
One reason many people say that they don’t eat more fruit and veggies is lack of time. This can be corrected by always having frozen veggies and fruits on hand. Frozen fruits can be easily used for smoothies and light desserts. Having prepped, frozen veggies can cut down on time in the kitchen, making it easier to add to your diet.
This can also aid in overall health and longevity. In 2010, 5.5 million Americans lived to 85 years of age, according to the Institute on Aging. It is estimated that this number will grow to 19 million Americans by 2050.
This represents a total of 5% of the population. Another step that makes the fruit more convenient is to have apples, oranges, pears, and bananas on the counter in plain sight. This will make it easier to grab a piece of fruit rather than a less healthful snack.
If you have school-aged children at home, provide fruit and veggies for an afternoon snack. Apples with peanut butter and carrots or celery with hummus make a tasty and healthy snack.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a little bit of planning and forward-thinking, but you’ll be glad that you took the time to serve yourself and your family healthier options in the long run.