Eat your veggies! It’s a mantra that’s been ingrained into our heads since childhood. We know we need an adequate amount of vegetables every day in order to maintain optimal health. However, sometimes it can be hard to squeeze veggies into each and every meal.
Boredom can set in as we get into a routine of cooking the same things all the time. Does the thought of eating another piece of limp broccoli make you shudder? Don’t worry! We have solutions that will get you excited about making vegetables a regular part of your diet
How Many Veggies a Day?
When it comes to vegetables, the evidence is clear: more is better. The CDC reports that most everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. The amount will depend on things like your age, gender, and level of physical activity. Check out this chart to help you figure out exactly how much you should be getting.
Experts recommend seven servings or more per day. We’re all pretty familiar with the well-known benefits, which include things like lowering risk of cancer, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. However, there are some lesser-known surprising–and more immediate–benefits that come along with a vegetable-rich diet. Some of these effects include improvement in skin appearance, less bloating, and an improved ability to tolerate stress. In fact, though most people turn to things like chocolate and carbs when they’re stressed, vegetables are nature’s comfort food, providing you with nutrients that replenish you and make you feel better.
Packing It All In
Eating seven servings of veggies a day may seem like a lot, but there are ways you can make it easier. One great way to do this is to plan meals in which vegetables replace some less healthier options like carbs.
When you’re craving Italian food, try this Zucchini Lasagna. It replaces pasta noodles with this vitamin A-rich veggie, which helps with proper immune system functioning, and also incorporates other healthy choices such as ground turkey and diced tomatoes. Eating this delicious meal gives you two veggie servings in one!
Have a burger craving? Try this top-rated recipe for a Mushroom Veggie Burger With delicious additions such as sprouts and cucumbers, no one will even miss the meat!
Mashed potatoes are great, but most traditional varieties are carb-heavy and don’t pack much of a nutritional punch. Try this recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.