Your parents intention wasn’t to be mean by forcing you to eat your vegetables; They had your best interest in mind. They knew that those plates full of nutrient rich plants would help you grow big and strong.
Vegetables weren’t only important for the growth phase; They’re even more important for health maintenance as an adult. We all know vegetables are filled with vital nutrients and vitamins.
What exactly do those nutrients do and how do they benefit us?
They PROTECT us.
They lower our blood pressure,
reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, chronic disease and cancers by improving enzyme and antioxidant activity in the body,
they lower the risk of eye and digestive problems and keep our appetites in check by mellowing our blood sugar.
Some vegetables even have antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties to ward of colds and flus.
How can I sneak them into my diet?
Simple ways to GET your vegetables:
ALWAYS have vegetables on hand. Spinach, tomatos, peppers, avocado, & cucumbers are a great start.
Start every meal with a vegetable. Take a bell pepper and stuff it with more veggies. Or make a stir fry of vegetables. Add a little protein for flavor. This tip will get you consuming more vegetables immediately.
Turn any meal into a salad. Overflow a plate with salad greens and veggies. Add a protein and cheese to satisfy. You’ll feel comfortably full.
Add vegetables to your baked goods. Substitute pureed squash or pumpkin for the oil or butter in your baked goods. For cookies use 1/2 the amount of oil or butter and substitute squash for the other 1/2. You won’t even notice a difference.
Open faced toast. Spread hummus or avocado on the bottom and top with your favorite veggies. Scrumptious.
Vegetable wrap. Fill a bowl with your favorite veggies — tomato, shredded carrots, spinach, hummus, sprouts, cucumbers and artichokes. Mix and wrap in a whole wheat tortilla. You’ll be surprised how satisfying it is.
Smoothies. Add spinach or cucumbers to your favorite smoothie. Vitamins and minerals without the work.
Always keep crunchy veggies on hand as a last minute snack. Dip carrots or celery in peanut butter to pack in the protein.