We are all aware that vegetables and fruits are great for overall health and should be a part of our daily diet. But it becomes harder than we think at times.
I have met adults who said they don't eat any vegetables if they can help it. The aversion towards vegetables can be deep-rooted in your childhood.
If your parents were not the best cooks your relationship with vegetables can be lukewarm. If you grew up eating a slimy bhindi sabzi or overcooked cabbage sabzi, then your aversion to vegetables makes sense.
But the benefits of vegetables and fruits cannot be overlooked in providing us with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. So it is time to put your adult pants on and try these simple strategies for eating more vegetables.
What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are found in plants and like vitamins and minerals, they help keep us healthy and thriving.
They work as antioxidants in our bodies and can help with DNA repair. They also influence hormonal function, lower inflammation, inhibit fat synthesis and storage, and help fight bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
Here are 5 tried and tested simple strategies for eating more vegetables.
Start your day with a fruit or vegetable-rich breakfast. A breakfast smoothie made with a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you add more veggies without worrying about the taste. For example, Banana works great with Kale and Spinach in a smoothie and gives you the much-needed fibre and iron that green leafy vegetables contain. A veggie-packed omelette with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, broccoli and be a sure-shot way of starting your day feeling full and satiated.
Experiment with different ways of cooking and preparing vegetables. Try roasting, grilling, or sautéing vegetables to find flavours and textures that you enjoy. For example, for those who find eggplant unappealing, try grilling them with cheese sprinkled on them or turn them into baba ghanoush to dip your pita bread in.
Try incorporating fruit into your meals and snacks. Add berries to your morning oatmeal or a sliced apple or pear to your salad. Another way to add fruits to your meals is by making a low-calorie parfait at home.
Look for ways to sneak vegetables into dishes that you already enjoy. Make delicious pasta with a sauce made of roasted bell pepper, tomatoes and onions. Added grated cauliflower into potato mash the next time you make Masala Dosa. Sneak in grated carrots into dosas and idlis to make it extra nourishing. Add chopped spinach/methi/amaranthus to rotis and parathas.
Try incorporating new fruits and vegetables into your diet. Expand your palate by trying new flavours and textures. Create a grocery list at the beginning of the week and add one new vegetable that you would want to try. One way to do that is to pick a seasonal and local vegetable to add it to your meal. Find a recipe on the internet that you like and begin experimenting.