The best diet is one that does not leave you hungry, and fruits and vegetables are a great way to satisfy your appetite without consuming empty calories. Packed with essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs, fruits and vegetables are also healthy. In fact, the USDA recommends that adults consume nine to thirteen servings of them each day. Whether you choose to munch on fruits at snack time or add veggies to other meals, here are several easy ways to sneak more of them into your diet.
Prepare and Package – When you come home from the grocery store with all that delicious produce, what do you do with it? If you answered, “chuck it in the veggie drawer,” it’s time to change your approach. Much of the produce that goes in the crisper ends up in the trash bin. Instead, wash, cut and portion your vegetables as soon as bring them home. Keep serving size snack baggies on a refrigerator shelf where you can see them each time you open the door. Keep other prepared portions at the ready to add to salads, sandwiches, pastas or steam for sides.
Sip a Smoothie – Particularly delightful on a warm summer day, a cool fruit smoothie makes a tasty breakfast or satisfying afternoon snack. And it’s easy to combine two to three servings of fruit in each one because there are so many wonderful flavor combinations. You can even sneak in some vegetables, like a handful of spinach or a few stalks of celery.
Visit the Farmers Market – Grocery store produce may not be at the peak of freshness. Fruits and vegetables purchased from a farmers market generally will be. You may also find heirloom varieties with more interesting and intense flavors, which is a great way to get excited about fresh produce again. Visit Pick Your Own for a list of farmers markets and pick your own farms in the Atlanta area.
Add Vegetables to Everything – Vegetables can easily be incorporated into almost any meal. Are you having a sandwich? Add veggies! Are you making some pasta? Add veggies! Are you baking a pizza? Add veggies! Are you whipping up an omelet? Add veggies! You get the idea. If you add at least one fruit or vegetable serving to every meal and snack, you’ll be well on your way to nine a day.
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