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10 ways you can eat more fruit & veggies!

We all know how important it is to make sure we have plenty of colourful plants in our diet. But it isn’t always easy…

A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. Research shows that people who consume 30+ plant foods a week have higher bacterial diversity and a healthier microbiome overall1https://www.indi.ie/11-news/1458-the-30-different-plant-based-foods-per-week-challenge.html. Ideal gut donors eat 50 different real foods a week2https://taymount.com/product/50-food-challenge-book.

However, the truth is that we have busy schedules so it can be challenging to ensure that we consistently include fresh fruit and veg in our daily diet.

If you struggle with this, here are some top tips to help you eat your 5 (or more) a day!

Delivered to your door

Having fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorstep is not only convenient but also supports small producers. Many of the boxes on the market offer organic produce and the contents are usually seasonal too. Check out BBC’s roundup of veg boxes here.

Think ahead

Prepare a few days or even a weeks worth of vegetables over the weekend. This may go against the usual advice of eating vegetables picked up during the day and eaten as fresh possible. However, it’s a lot more realistic for most of us and our busy schedules. This means washing, trimming, chopping, and even roasting or freezing — anything that makes it easy to grab a lunch of vegetables on the go.

Visible veg

Put your vegetables on the top shelf of the fridge, or whatever is eye level. Hunky heads of cauliflower and broccoli shouldn’t get pushed to the back of the fridge or stuck out of sight in the bottom drawer. Put them right up front, where you’ll see and remember them.

Irresistible ideas

Ask yourself: what’s my idea of irresistible vegetables? This may sound like vague or obvious advice, but really take a moment to think about the question. What kinds of vegetables are most appealing and irresistible? Do you fall over for creamy cauliflower soup? Roasted Brussels sprouts? What spices, oils and herbs can you use? Do you have any recipe books you have forgotten about? Find your way that you love veggies.

Double up on dinner

Add (or double!) the vegetables in your evening meals. There aren’t many weeknight meals that wouldn’t be made better with a handful of kale or spinach. Pizza? Top with broccoli florets. Risotto? See: handful of kale. Pasta? That’s easy — roasted carrots, beets, cabbage. See how many different vegetables you can pack into what you’re already cooking, which is made extra easy when you’ve followed the advice above (get them delivered, roast or cook them ahead of time).

Level up breakfast

Eat vegetables for breakfast – i.e omelettes with added veggies, kale with eggs and avocado, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms on toast. The list goes on!

Drink up

Drink your veggies! Another breakfast idea is to juice your carrots, greens, and beets, or throw them into a Kefir smoothie.

Side salad

Eat a salad at every meal. You could buy bags of pre-washed greens and rocket for easy, fast salads. It also helps to make a homemade salad dressing and keep it in a jar in the fridge. And salads aren’t just for dinner or lunch – throw a pile of rocket next to your morning omelette for a nutritious upgrade.

Sneaky substitutes

Switch crackers, pita, tortillas, and other breads for raw vegetables. If your go-to snack is crisps/crackers/bread and dip then you could instead keep a big container of cut-up carrots, peppers and cucumber as an alternative. You could also use leafy greens as wraps for tacos, sandwiches, etc., instead of tortillas or pita.

Don’t forget frozen

While we may idealise that box of fresh, leafy greens straight from the farm, don’t overlook the humble frozen veggie. They are often frozen right at the farm, picked at their peak, and certain vegetables (peas, especially) taste great from the freezer. And they are always good for soups, scrambles, and pasta — how many times have I realised I could dump a whole bag of frozen spinach into soup?

Is your tummy rumbling between meals? Check out some healthy snack swaps here.

Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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