Today’s contribution is by Morgan Perdue – Wellness Coordinator at Chip Allen Fitness Center.
Nutrition plays a big role in your overall health and wellness. Even with daily exercise, it can prove challenging to reach your daily goals without proper nutrition. A balanced diet compromised of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, protein, and healthy fats is essential to achieving ones fitness goals. With that being said, there is one food group that most individuals struggle with when it comes to consuming the recommended daily amount – vegetables.
According to the CDC only 1 out of 10 adults consume the daily recommended amount of vegetables. The average woman should consume 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day, while the average man should consume roughly 3 cups a day. Vegetables provide our bodies with a number of health benefits. Benefits from consuming the recommended daily servings of vegetables include, reduced risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, protection against certain types of cancers, lowered blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and a number of other health benefits. The good news is there are ways to easily incorporate more veggies into your diet. This is great for toddlers and kids, as well. Sneaking your veggies into your meals is a great way to increase your daily veggie intake. The good news is there are so many ways to sneak veggies into meals. Below are a few methods you can use to sneak vegetables into your daily meals.
Add Chopped Spinach
Spinach has little to no flavor, making it easy to add to sauces, pastas, pizza, eggs, and casseroles, without being detected. Adding spinach will add lots of color to your food, along with added nutrition that you will benefit from.
Adding veggies such as kale, spinach, carrots, beets, and celery to fruit flavored smoothies is a great way to incorporate a serving of veggies into your diet. Combined with the other flavors, you will barely notice they are there.
Try Zoodles, Instead of Noodles
Try substituting zoodles, or zucchini noodles, instead of regular pasta noodles. This method may take a little more effort that the others, however, zoodles go great with a variety of sauces and will add a large serving of vegetables to any meal.
Add vegetables to your scrambled eggs or omelet. This a great way to blend flavors and incorporate a large portion of vegetables into your breakfast.
Add Butternut Squash to Cheesy Pastas
This will make the pastas very rich and creamy. The flavor of the squash will be completely hidden by the cheese and you will be able to add another serving to your daily serving of vegetables.
Try these methods and see which one works for you!