From your mother to your nutritionist to the latest fitness star on social media, everyone is promoting healthy eating or healthy lifestyle in some form or the other. This wellness wave has seen a surge since long now, thanks to an increase in lifestyle diseases.
At the heart of all of these ‘healthy lifestyle’ trends are the two powerhouses of nature – fruits and veggies. Both of them are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, fiber and a whole lot of disease-fighting goodness. But the fact remains that people just aren’t including enough of them in their diet.
Most of us are guilty of neglecting these power foods. If we want to give ourselves and our children a healthy lifestyle, fruits and veggies have to be a major portion of our diet. You just need to look beyond the boring salads for creative ways to include them in your meals.
Here are 5 such fantastic ways in which you can easily add more fruits and veggies in your diet so that your body benefits from all of their goodness. Take a look:
Make Them Accessible
The most basic rule you can follow to ensure that more fruits and veggies go on your plate is making them easily accessible.
Keep the fruits and vegetables in plain sight, preferably on kitchen countertops. This way you are more likely to grab a fruit for snack rather than that unhealthy packet of chips.
Baby carrots, celery sticks, homemade hummus can be prepared and stored in refrigerator. Come Monday and you just have to grab your healthy snack box and go!
Forget the Bread
The sheer varieties of breads available today have given this old food a new lease of life. From multi-grain to banana, bread-lovers are spoilt for choice. However, have you ever thought of using anything besides bread for your burgers and sandwiches?
Try a burger with lettuce leaves instead of the usual burger bun. If you don’t prefer raw veggies, you can sauté them with your favorite seasonings. Such innovative twists will let you enjoy your favorite foods sans the unwanted calories.
Besides, you get to have your daily fill of nutritious and fibrous veggies in a delicious way. You can also try the same twist for your favorite wraps. Swap the regular tortilla with either cabbage or spinach.
Start Your Day With Some Smoothie Goodness
Smoothies have been quite the rage since long now. From adults who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle to small children, smoothies are a hot favorite in most of the households today. Just pick your favorite fruits or veggies, or both and blend them with yogurt.
Top this power drink with nuts or chia seeds for a healthy crunch! Just make sure that you select vacuum sealed smoothie containers to keep your smoothies fresh for long. The vacuum will prevent oxidization of the fruits in the smoothie and retain their nutrients for long.
Munch on a Healthy Chip & Dip Platter
How about turning your snack staple into a nutrition-packed platter with veggies? Yes! A simple twist can knock out lots of unwanted calories from your favorite snack with absolutely no compromise on taste besides giving you a nutritional boost. Here’s the trick. Replace potato with more nutritious veggies like kale or sweet potato and bake these chips after seasoning them with your favorite flavors.
Club these veggie chips with home-made dips. You can find plenty of recipes online which are high on nutrition, low on calories and can be made with only 3 or 4 ingredients which are commonly found in most of the kitchens. However, if you are short on time and have no option but to choose store-bought dips, always read the ingredient list.
Double the Fun of Desserts with Nature’s Candy
Here’s some good news for those who have a sweet tooth and cannot do without desserts. You can easily include fruits – considered as nature’s candy in your desserts in the form of toppings.
You can puree them to use as a sauce, chop them into small pieces or garnish with thin slices, the options are endless. So next time ditch the usual chocolate sauce and choose fruits instead on your ice cream, mousse, custard etc.
If you are looking for completely clean dessert options with fruits, try fruit popsicles. Pour the pulp or juice of your favorite fruits in popsicle molds, freeze them for a few hours and you get to enjoy a guilt-free luscious dessert plus the goodness of fruits.
All of these tips will help you easily include fruits and veggies in your diet with no compromise on taste. So get innovative and try them all!
Nora White is the digital marketing manager for SANS. She has been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle for over 2 decades and loves to keep herself updated with the latest in clean eating and green living. When not at work, you can find her at a hot yoga class or writing to educate and help her readers come one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. In her free time, she loves to travel with her husband and two boys, and hike with friends.