Ten easy ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake
From the time we are born we are told to eat our fruit and vegetables. We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy for us and decreases our risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A diet full of fruit and vegetables helps us maintain a healthy weight. We all know this, but why is it that most people do not eat the recommended two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables each day?
While it may seem like a daunting task consuming your two and five each day needn’t be as difficult as you might think. Here are some easy tips to increase your fruit and vegetables.
- Buy a Nutribullet or similar product and make a nutritious smoothie for breakfast. Slice, peel or chop ingredients the night before and store overnight in the fridge so it is easy in the morning to whizz it up. Alternatively, frozen fruit makes for an even quicker option – throw all your ingredients into the blender and drink your two servings of fruit for the day.
- Have wholegrain toast with smashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, mushroom and poached eggs for breakfast. Sprinkle a little feta over the top to make it exciting.
- Include rocket or spinach on your sandwich with cheese or meat and use avocado instead of butter or margarine.
- Create salads that include a range of vegetables and even fruit. Include some grated carrot and beetroot or baked pumpkin with feta or even pear cucumber and rocket with shaved parmesan cheese. Add pinenuts or walnuts for interest. It does not have to be just lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
- Invest in a juicer so you can whip up refreshing and nutritious juices. Try apple, carrot, beetroot and ginger or make your own creation.
- Make your vegetables intake at dinner equal half your plate. You may include more vegetables in your curry or casserole and reduce the pasta or rice portion.
- Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand that can count towards your fruit and vegetable intake. Be prepared by taking a small container or blueberries, grapes, cucumber, carrot or celery sticks with a dip such as hummus to work with you.
- At your next BBQ, make veggie skewers with mushrooms, capsicum, red onion, haloumi and pineapple. Alternatively, marinate mushroom, tomato, zucchini and capsicum with balsamic vinegar and lime juice then cook on the BBQ. Sprinkle with feta cheese – devine! Maybe add corn fritters or corn on the cob on the BBQ.
- When you make a lasagna or spagetti bolognaise use kidney beans, grated zucchini, carrot or eggplant in the sauce.
- Make home-made pizza using mushrooms, capsicum, corn, red onion and spinach on a blended cauliflower base. Our local pizza place services a variety of healthy vegetables on pizza you can use for inspiration. They use thinly sliced carrot and zucchini with red curry chicken and beansprouts on top.
The sky is the limit – let’s be creative!
MQ Healthy Weight Clinic, Macquarie University Clinic, Suite 302, Level 3, 2 Technology Place, Macquarie University
T: 02 9812 2941
Special thanks to Meaghan Joyce, Dietitian at Macquarie University Hospital.