10 Ways to Increase Your Fruits and Veggie Consumption
An adequate fruit and vegetable intake provides essential nutrients and nutritive compounds and is considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But keeping track of intake adequacy may be hard especially if you have a busy lifestyle.
Here are some ways on how you can increase your daily intake even if you’re too occupied with your day’s to-do list:
1. Add fresh produce to foods you already eat – like berries or bananas to yogurt & cereal; your favorite veggies to pasta, pizza, soups & casseroles; and spinach leaves, tomato, cucumber & onion to sandwiches; fresh strawberries or raspberries with peanut butter on toast.
2. Keep fruits/veggies easily accessible by pre-cutting and keeping them ready to go in the fridge. Keep pre-portioned veggies in baggies to grab on the run – keep in car, office fridge, and school/gym bag. Or you may purchase pre-cut vegetable, fruits and salad mixes.
3. Make homemade vegetarian pizza with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, sweet bell peppers or any other veggies, or if ordering pizza ask for triple veggies and skip the pepperoni.
4. Pack ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables for a convenient snack on the go, such as an apple, pear, banana, grapes or baby carrots.
5. Eat dried fruit instead of candy. This may even help if weight loss is your goal.
6. Make a smoothie by combining fruit (frozen berries, banana,) yogurt, juice and ice or choose juices whose labels claim: 100% fruit juice, or invest in a juicer and juice your own
7. Make homemade salsas/dips with tomatoes, mangoes, avocados, red onions, cilantro, & lime juice – enjoy with baked tortilla chips.
8. Add apple chunks, pineapple or raisins to chicken or tuna salad. Use bell peppers sliced in half as a pocket for tuna, salmon or egg salads – a nice change to bread and a good dose of nutrients to go with it.
9. When grilling, include vegetable in aluminum foil, or grill skewers of pineapple, eggplant, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.
10. Try a new fruit or vegetable every week, be creative with new foods.