I know many people who struggle to eat the recommended amount of vegetables per day and the recent Australian Health Survey found that less than 4% of adults eat 5 serves per day. I think meat and carbohydrates have traditionally played a starring role in our food culture rather than the vegetables. Vegetables are the most important part of your meal. They are vital to maintaining health. They contain the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that decrease your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. They increase your immunity and improve your gut health. They are literally our superfoods. So here is a bit of inspiration for you on how to include more veges during your day without trying too hard.
Instead of reaching for the crackers and cheese for a snack, try snacking on ready to eat veges such as cucumber, snow peas or carrots with humus or smashed avocado. One serve is the equivalent of only 1 cup of vegetables.
If you enjoy eggs for breakfast add a cup of cooked spinach leaves or a large handful of rocket. Smashed avocado also goes well with this and is an easy addition.
If you find each working day you have nothing ready to go for lunch except a plain sandwich or take away, roast some vegetables the night before such as sweet potato, cauliflower, red onion, capsicum, beets and eggplant. Add a handful of baby spinach leaves or rocket and this creates a perfect base for your lunch. All you need is a serve of protein.
Instead of pasta, rice or toast with your meal include some mashed vegetables or roasted sweet potato and cauliflower.
Cauliflower rice is the latest craze right now and rightly so. It’s a brassica vegetable so great for supporting your liver detoxification. Just blend ½ cup of cauliflower florets in a blender until fine, then pan fry in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Easy and perfect for adding an other serve of vegetables to your day. The flavor is pretty good too and doesn’t leave you feeling full and bloated.
Any vegetable can be added to eggs to make a frittata. It’s a quick and easy weeknight meal that adds a variety of vegetables into your diet. They are also great for lunch leftovers.