The average American only eats half the recommended servings of vegetables per day (and this is using a goal of 2.5 cups minimum, but at Cambiati Wellness we recommend a minimum of 4 cups per day!). As Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at NYU, says, “Experiment! There are so many options available, and great ways to prepare them that are truly fun and delicious. Eating more vegetables should be a pleasure.”
We all know that vegetables are the superstars of the nutrition world. They help reduce oxidative damage, offer most of our antioxidants and phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and other compounds that help buffer us against chronic diseases and illnesses. A review of 95 studies published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that for every 7 ounces of fruits and veggies you add to your diet every day, the risk of most common diseases (like cancer, heart disease and stroke) reduces significantly. How cool is that? You have the power to make changes that can protect you from some of the most common illnesses today! That is empowerment at its finest.
One way to get these all-important food staples in? Try adding some vegan recipes to your weekday repertoire, and consider making at least one day a week meatless, like the Meatless Monday movement. We have lots of vegan and vegetarian recipes on our website.
Some additional ways to get in more veggies:
- Add veggies like spinach, riced cauliflower or jicama to your breakfast, often a place where we skip them. Chop, slice or shred veggies and throw them into smoothies/shakes, eggs or grain bowls.
- Replace one mini meal with vegetables. Green beans, carrots and celery/cucumber make great mid-day pick-me-ups, especially when dipped into something tasty, like hummus.
- Make sure half your plate at meals is filled with non-starchy vegetables. A meal is not complete without some of this color on your plate!
- Use a spiralizer or mandoline to slice vegetables thinly and use them creatively. Crisp them up like fries, use as chips or add thin slices to salads or other dishes.
- Replace rice with cauliflower, broccoli or other veggie “rice.”
- Swirl vegetables into potato mash, dice them into a pasta sauce, and use them as toppings for a healthier homemade pizza.