Think you’re eating enough greens? Think again. Findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 96% of Australians don’t eat enough vegetables. So it’s not just kids who don’t like eating greens!
How much is ‘enough’ vegetables? According to Healthdirect, to achieve a balanced diet, adults and children aged over nine should eat five to six serves of vegetables a day. And seven and a half serves for breastfeeding women. Seven and a half serves! (One serve equals one cup of uncooked vegetables.)
If you think you mightn’t be getting enough vegetables in your diet, explore a few ‘sneaky’ and tasty ways to incorporate them into your week.
Win friends with salad
Despite what Homer and Bart Simpson might have you believe, eating more salads will ensure you become friends with a healthier you.
Salads are a great way to sneak more vegetables into your diet – and they needn’t be boring or bland. Most salads might start with leafy greens such as baby spinach, roquette, or kale, but from there the possibilities are almost endless. You could toss in:
- Avocado for texture (and because it’s a feel-good food)
- Cherry tomatoes for a burst of flavour
- Pomegranate seeds for sweetness
- Fetta or goat’s cheese for protein and creaminess.
Salad makes a quick and easy lunch, and of course it goes well with some protein for dinner – especially in summer. And leafy greens like spinach and kale are a great source of magnesium and vitamin A, which can help you manage stress and fight off sickness.
Make soups and smoothies
Soup is not only a food that can help you feel your best, it’s also a great way to easily sneak extra serves of veggies into your diet. Soup makes a healthy lunch or dinner option, especially as it can be prepared in advance and reheated when you need.
Making soup is also a good way to avoid food wastage. Have a few random vegetables left in the crisper at the end of the week? Chop them up, throw them in with some stock and bam! There’s lunch for next week sorted.
Note for parents: Soup is an especially sneaky way to get fussy eaters to cram more veggies in without even realising it – muahaha!
Smoothies – soup’s morning cousin – are an excellent way to get your day off on the right foot. They help you get a head start on your six serves too! Vegetables make a powerful addition to your morning blend. Simply throw in some carrots, kale, or even zucchini, top it off with some berries, fruit juice, or honey for sweetness and you’re well on your way.
Zucchini has anti-inflammatory properties and is low on carbs and calories – all things that make it a morning winner.
Make more gains with the right advice
A balanced diet and regular exercise are the fundamentals to feeling your best. But you don’t have to go it alone. For handy diet and exercise advice, get in touch with a Virgin Active personal trainer today.