Monday, July 23, 2012
Tips for “Vegetizing” Your Diet
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that your body requires to maintain good health.
The benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet include:
- a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke and many cancers
- lower blood pressure
- a healthier immune system
- weight loss (when you substitute fruits and vegetables for other higher calorie foods)
- they’re also a great source of fiber!
Most people need about 4 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables per day to reap benefits. While it might sound like a lot, consider a meal that has a fruit for dessert, a small salad and a green vegetable. Most likely, this provides more than half of your daily requirement.
Here are a few other tips to sneak “health” into your daily diet:
- Turn a fruit smoothie into a super smoothie by adding a handful of raw spinach leaves. Add them after all other ingredients are blended for a final blend. You won’t notice the taste or the color, but your body will notice the added nutrients!
- When baking, add a cup of finely shredded carrots to any batter.
- When peppers (red, green, yellow and orange) are in ample supply, stock up! Spend 15 minutes dicing and placing in ziplock bags. Pop into your freezer. Next time you are cooking and need a little color and zest, they are ready to go!
- Try spaghetti squash instead of pasta in your next pasta dish.
- When making stews, soups, chili or gravy, add a cup of pureed vegetables. It’s a great healthy thickener.
- When working with ground meat, add a cup or two of finely chopped spinach.
- Amp up pasta sauce with a quick spin in the blender with broccoli, squash, peppers, corn, or other favorite vegetables.
- Add chopped veggies to your plain rice – try cucumbers, corn, tomatoes or other favorites.
- Not sure what to do with those ripe avocados? Try this unique, great tasting pudding: blend one ripe banana, one very ripe avocado, cocoa powder and honey until smooth and creamy. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more honey, almond milk or coconut milk!
You’re doing what you can to keep your and your family’s hearts healthy; we’re doing our part, too, in case you ever need us! Find out how.