Helpful tips to boost your vegetable intake

What is the reason for such a dislike for vegetables?

Why do some people like vegetables whereas others dislike them? It is possible that genetics plays some role. People who don’t like cruciferous vegetables (e.g. people who don’t like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts (i.e. cabbage) are more susceptible to PROP (a bitter taste component). It also possible that you didn’t grow up eating vegetables therefore haven’t developed a love for these vegetables. A few of us do not like the texture of the vegetables. Whatever the reason, the majority of people don’t consume sufficient amounts of veggies for good health.

Vegetables are a great source of nutrition.

Vegetables are loaded with nutrients like vitamins, vegan greens vitamins minerals (including calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium) along with fiber, disease fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals. They aide in gastrointestinal health and may help reduce cholesterol and reduce the chances of developing diseases like cancer and heart disease. Additionally, they aid in weight loss as they help you feel fuller without the calories.

What is the serving size of vegetables?

One serving is equivalent to half a cup of cooked, raw or pureed vegetables (including tomato sauce and vegetable soup) or one cup of leafy greens that are raw and four to six cups of juice.

Here are some helpful tips to boost your vegetable intake

1. Be open-minded! You can be able to learn to enjoy vegetables.

2. They can be incorporated in your favorite recipes. Shredded carrots can be included in meatloaf or make lasagna with zucchini slices. Incorporate vegetables into your slice of pizza. Add to your soup chopped onions and carrots. If those tiny chunks of vegetables turn you off you, then try pureeing them to disguise them.

3. Try a different cooking method. If you typically steam vegetables then try grilling or roasting them. These cooking techniques can alter the texture of veggies and impart more flavor. For example, I’m not a huge fan of the fatty texture of asparagus that is steamed, however I do love grilled asparagus, which is lightly brushed with olive oil. Similar to eggplant.

4. If you’re not a fan of cooked vegetables, you can try raw ones. This can change the texture. Sometimes, the dislike of vegetables can be more of a texture issue.

5. Include different vegetables in salads (red pepper, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes chopped steamed broccoli). Try to use a darker green leaf or spinach as the base for your salad to increase the nutritional content.

6. Use interesting sauces on vegetables to disguise them. These are some ideas:

Teriyaki sauce olive oil, Teriyaki sauce, and a pinch of parmesan cheese are all you need. It is possible that you like hot and spicy dishes. Sprinkle a few drops of hot sauce to your veggies. It is possible that you prefer sweeter dishes, so look for the marinade or sauce that is sweeter. If you are trying to slim down, check the calorie content of the sauces.

7. If you prefer sweet foods, try the mashed sweet potato or winter squash with some cinnamon and brown sugar.

8. If the whole texture issue makes you uncomfortable, try drinking your veggies. Juice them (try adding an apple or beets to the greens for a sweeter taste). Commercial vegetable juices, such as V8 juice, are available to be purchased. It is possible to choose a lower sodium version, as regular juices are rich in sodium.

9. At a minimum, you should consume three servings of fruits a every day. Although fruits do not contain all the same nutrients as vegetables, it can provide some of them (i.e.vitamin C Fiber, antioxidants and fiber phytochemicals, etc.)

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