Are you struggling to get your daily fruit and veg allowance into your diet? It can seem like a chore, especially if you aren’t a fan of the good stuff. However, even if you don’t particularly like something, that doesn’t mean you should exclude it from your diet altogether.
Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals to survive, and without them, you will feel lethargic and sluggish, take longer to recover from illnesses, and generally feel a bit under the weather, but without being ill.
To put this into context, your body needs vitamins and minerals for processes such as renewing cells, building and maintaining bones, teeth, hair, and muscles, supporting muscle function, fighting illnesses, and keeping your brain and nervous system in good working order. So it goes without saying that your health will suffer if you are deficient in any or all of your essential nutrients.
So that brings us back to the point, what if you don’t like your veggies? How can you ensure you are getting the nutrition you need?
While you should always include a good amount of fresh fruit and veg in your diet, if that doesn’t itch your taste buds, then including nutrient-dense foods in your diet can go a long way to making up for anything your body might be missing out on.
Nutrient-dense foods contain high levels of nutrients or multiple vitamins and minerals, making them beneficial to your diet.
These types of foods include leafy greens such as spinach and kale, salmon, blueberries, whole grains, skinless poultry, broccoli, sprouts, oysters, and pumpkin.
Let’s look at kale for example; while many people have a love-hate relationship with this leaf green, it is one of the best foods to include in your diet and contains high levels of vitamins A, B6, C, and K along with manganese fiber of late and carotenoids. Your body uses fat to make DNA and other genetic material, while carotenoids protect you from diseases and illnesses.
Smoothies are a great way to pack a punch into your diet and get everything you need without having to physically eat it, so to speak.
The key to smoothies is to make them at home to reduce the amount of sugar in them and include more veggies than fruits, as fruits release natural sugars when broken down, making them less healthy than just eating them. While smoothies, especially fruit ones, aren’t a shortcut to a nutritious diet, they can be beneficial when consumed in small, frequent amounts. For example, this Avocado Smoothie Recipe is simple to make and can allow you to enjoy this food’s healthy fats and nutrients without adding it to your meals.
If you have a sweet tooth and can manage to fit 5 cakes into your day rather than five prices of fruit or veg, then why not combine the two? For starters, carrots, beets, zucchini, and pumpkin are ideal veggies to add to your cakes. Beets give your cakes a delightfully red/pink color and a moist, soft texture, while carrots can add a hint of slavery to another sweet treat.
By adding veggies to your cakes while not mitigating the amount of sugar and processed ingredients involved in baking, it can add a healthier element, and if it gets you (or even your kids) to eat veggies without suffering, then it’s a win-win. Remember though, it enjoys cakes as part of a balanced diet, even the ones you make with veg in them.
Not just a trick in a parents handbook to getting fruit and veg in kids, this trick is perfect for adults too. If you prefer to make your own sauces and gravies, then adding blended down fruit and veg can add an extra taste and texture element and ensure you are getting a vitamin boost too.
The best part is you can add pretty much anything to your sauces, and it will work. So if you’ve got any leftovers or simply want to purchase items specifically to make sauces, then give it a go. Plus, making your own sauces is pretty straightforward and is much healthier than store-bought alternatives.
If you’re really not a fan of getting more fruit and veg into your diet, you can also add multivitamin supplements to your day. While you shouldn’t rely on supplements instead of a healthy balanced diet, they can be an excellent alternative for those struggling or with allergies that rule out whole food groups. You can get individual supplements and multivits, which combine a range of different ones and a single dose.
Always read the label, choose the best quality supplements, and ensure the ones you take include everything you need or lack in your diet.
Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice are staples in many people’s diets; however, by reducing your carb consumption and swapping regular rice and pasta for veggie alternatives, you can reduce your carb consumption and calories and increase your veggie intake too.
Everyone knows the popular trends of making cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles, but have you ever tried using broccoli, carrots, parsnips, squash, or sweet potatoes, for example, to make pasta or other veg rice? This can be a delicious alternative to pasta and rice.
If you prefer to drink your foods rather than eat them and smoothies aren’t your thing, investing in a juicer can help you get the nutrients from fruits and veg. But much in the same way smoothies can increase the sugar in healthier foods, the same can be said for juices. The main difference is the number of ingredients used and how you make your drink. Again, you need a small amount, around 100 to 150 ml per day, to get one portion and to avoid it being detrimental to your health.
You need a balanced diet to ensure good health and wellness every single day. Getting extra nutrients into your diet involves increasing your consumption of good foods. While you should aim to eat as many fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and lean meats as possible, supplementing your diet and tricking your brain can go a long way for those who struggle to eat a balanced diet.