National Nutrition Week is a great time to kickstart a healthier lifestyle by boosting your vegetable consumption. Vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants, making them a crucial part of a balanced diet. Remember that variety is key when it comes to veg. The more colours and types of vegetables you incorporate into your diet, the more diverse and balanced your nutrient intake will be.
However, getting enough veg into your daily meals can be a challenge for many. To help you embrace a healthier diet, here are seven tips to add more vegetables to your meals:
1. Start at the Farmers’ Market: Begin your week by visiting the local farmers’ market to pick out a variety of fresh, locally grown vegetables. This will not only support local farmers but also provide you with a diverse selection of high-quality vegetables for your weekly meals.
2. Blend Smoothies: Smoothies are a versatile way to incorporate vegetables into your diet without even noticing them. Spinach, kale, carrots, and beets can be blended with fruits, yoghurt, and a touch of honey to create delicious and nutritious drinks.
3. Explore Salads: Get creative with salads by mixing different types of greens, colourful bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and your favourite salad dressing. Adding grilled vegetables, nuts, seeds, or feta cheese can also elevate the flavour and texture.
4. Roast or Grill: Roasting or grilling vegetables can transform their taste and texture. Try roasting carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, or grilling zucchini, aubergine, and bell peppers for a delightful change from your usual steamed veg.
5. Sneak Veg into Pasta Dishes: Chop up a variety of vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and bell peppers, and mix them into your favourite pasta sauces. They add texture, flavour, and nutrition to your meals.
6. Make Veggie-Based Snacks: Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus, bell pepper slices with guacamole, or cherry tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper are healthy and satisfying snacks.
7. Experiment with Veggie-Centric Recipes: Explore international cuisine that focuses on vegetables, such as stir-fry, curry, or Mediterranean dishes like stuffed bell peppers and tabbouleh. These dishes are packed with flavours and nutrients.
Don’t forget – this is not just about eating better; it’s about feeling better. Happy National Nutrition Week, and here’s to a healthier, veggie-filled you!