5 tips on increasing your vegetable intake

5 tips to increase your vegetable intake

You have probably heard that eating vegetables is awesome for your health! But did you know why, such as how they are full of fibre, which is like a superhero for your stomach, cholesterol and weight!

Fibre helps things move smoothly in your digestive system. It adds bulk to your stool and softens it, making it easier to pass through the digestive tract. This helps prevent constipation and promotes regular bowel movements. It also helps maintain a healthy environment in the colon, preventing the buildup of harmful substances, reducing the risk of some cancers, such as colon cancer.

Fibre also acts as a prebiotic, providing food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which contributes to a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy microbiome, consisting of trillions of microorganisms in the gut, plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. Its functions include supporting digestion, regulating the immune system, influencing metabolism and weight, impacting mood and mental health, synthesising certain nutrients, controlling inflammation, protecting against pathogens, and influencing hormone regulation. You can see already how amazing fibre from vegetables are!

The fibre in vegetables is also super satiety due to slowing down the digestion and absorption of nutrients, promoting a feeling of fullness. This can help control appetite and contribute to weight management.

Soluble fibre found in vegetables plays a key role in lowering cholesterol levels. It binds to cholesterol molecules and helps eliminate them from the body, reducing overall cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.

But that’s not all – vegetables have another superpower called antioxidants. These are like shields that protect your skin, hair, and nails. They also fight off bad guys called inflammation and reduce your chances of getting cancer. The list of benefits just keeps going!

The recommended number of serves per day to obtain all these benefits are 5-6 x serves daily, where 1 serve is 1⁄2 cup of cooked broccoli or carrot, 1 cup of leafy greens, etc!! That’s a lot of vegetables..

Now, you might be thinking, “How can I eat all those vegetables every day?”
Don’t worry!

Here are five simple tricks to make it happen:

  1. Plan Your Meals:

Plan, plan plan! If you don’t have a plan on what you are eating that week and have not written a shopping list with the exact vegetables you are going to buy, then you are probably not going to eat enough vegetables. Plan the meals you are eating each week, ensuring they are high in vegetables and buy accordingly.

  1. Follow the Plate Guide:

Picture your plate at lunch and dinner where half of it (2 open handfuls) is filled with non-starchy vegetables (any veggies other than potato and corn). This will help ensure you reach your 5-6 x serves of veggies each day. If you want more details, book a session with me, and we can create a super plate strategy with some easy ideas!

  1. Snack on Veggies:

Who said snacks can’t include veggies too? Keep fresh veggies like capsicum, cucumber, or cherry tomatoes in your fridge or lunchbox. When you’re hungry between meals, reach for these tasty and healthy snacks. You can pair them with a nourishing dip, such as hummus or tzaziki for flavour!

  1. Frozen Veggie Power:

If the idea of fresh veggies feels like a mission impossible, frozen veggies are here to save the day. They’re just as nutritious as the fresh ones from the store. Why? Because they’re frozen right after being picked, locking in all the nutrients. Plus, they’re super convenient and affordable.

  1. Sneak in Your Veggies:

If the thought of salads or straight up veggies makes you want to run away, no worries! You can be a veggie ninja and hide them in your meals. Mix them into fritters or meat patties, blend them into pasta sauces, or throw them into smoothies. You won’t even notice, and your body will still get all the superhero benefits.

Make vegetables a priority during meals, and you’ll be on your way to obtaining the incredible benefits that vegetables provide. And hey, if you need some personalised advice or feel like you’re overwhelmed, book a session with me at OnePointHealth. Together, we can conquer any vegetable challenges!

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