Eating More Vegetables

Nutrition

When things get busy, for a number of reasons, it is the vegetable component of our evening meal that tends to fall by the wayside. The downside of this is that we then fail to get all of the fibre, vitamins, minerals and bulk in the diet that we need to feel full and satisfied. 

Ideally an adult requires at least 2-3 cups of vegetables or salad every single day, and the brighter the colour of the vegetables, the better they will be for you. Vegetables, unlike fruit have virtually no kilojoules, which means you can literally eat as many vegetables or salad as you like without fear of weight gain. For individuals who are not vegetable fans, a common question is; “Can I substitute my vegetables for fruit?” Unfortunately the answer is “no”, as fruit unlike vegetables does have a significant kilo joule load and does not offer the wide range of vitamins and minerals that vegetables do. 

Now before you start to conjure up images of overcooked soggy broccoli on plate, remember that there is nothing wrong with making your vegetables taste good. Nor is there anything wrong with juicing them, making them into a soup or adding various sauces to them, just as long as you are eating them regularly. Try using low fat milk and reduced fat cheese to bake them into a tasty sauce, char grill them on the BBQ or dice and bake in olive oil. Similarly use the frozen varieties with accompanying sauces, or enjoy them raw as an accompaniment to your lunch. 

Perhaps the most important point of all is to not overcook your vegetables. A number of the key nutrients found in vegetables are lost when they are over cooked or cooked in water. For this reason, lightly stir frying, baking or enjoying them raw are the best ways to reap all the nutritional benefits of eating plenty of fresh vegetables on a daily basis. 

Top tips for getting more vegetables into your diet

  • Snack on carrots, celery, red capsicum and cucumber at least once each day
  • Order extra vegetables or salad sides whenever you eat out
  • Each day, grab a tomato to have with your lunch
  • When ordering Asian dishes, order an extra vegetable dish
  • Add tomatoes, mushrooms or spinach to your eggs in the morning
  • Keep frozen vegetables or soup on hand to add to your evening meal 
  • Serve dips and cheeses with vegetable sticks rather than crackers
  • Add a vegetable juice into your breakfast routine
  • Bake a range with light cheese sauce and serve with meals throughout the week
  • Make a soup once a week and enjoy a bowl when you get home from work

Susie Burrell

Please note: This blog aims to supply user-friendly nutrition information for busy people without comprising on food taste and quality but should be used as a guide only and not in place of advice from your own dietitian or medical specialist. For further information on this topic, please consult your health professional. The content of this blog, including attachments, may be privileged and confidential. Any un-authorised use of this content is expressly prohibited. Any views that are expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of Susie Burrell Pty Ltd.
Category: Nutrition

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