It’s no secret vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. Yet, even though we all know the nutritional benefits—thanks to important vitamins, minerals, fiber and more—getting enough veggies on a daily basis is often easier said than done.
If you’re looking to ramp up your vegetable intake, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five easy (and delicious!) ways to eat more vegetables each day:
1. Replace one meal with a salad
Eating a daily salad is one of the simplest ways to add several serving of vegetables into your day. Since there are so many different options for customization, it’s easy to find a combination you love and look forward to eating. Start with a strong base of vegetables—lettuce or spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots—and then add a lean protein—like chicken, hardboiled eggs or beans—to keep you full for longer. Need inspiration? Here are 101 different salad recipes.
2. Drink your veggies
Smoothies or fresh-pressed juices can provide a few servings of vegetables in just a couple of sips. Not only are smoothies and juices a quick and accessible option for increasing your vegetable intake, but you’ll be surprised at how delicious a handful of spinach or kale can taste when blended up with the right ingredients.
3. Put your vegetables in plain sight
If your vegetables are “out of sight,” chances are they’re also “out of mind.” Rather than packing nutrient rich foods away in refrigerator drawers and cabinets, try putting them front and center. You may find yourself more likely to reach for carrot sticks when you have a clear, visible reminder you have some on hand.
4. Prep ahead
Maybe the hassle of preparing vegetables is keeping you from adding them to your meals each day. If that’s the case, set aside a designated day each week to roast, steam, grill or chop a full week’s worth of vegetables. With the prep work out of the way, you can easily enjoy vegetables with every meal.
5. Incorporate into your favorite recipe
If you’re tired of always having vegetables as a side dish to your meals, try finding sneaky ways to incorporate them seamlessly into your favorite recipes. Add chopped carrots and celery to your go-to meatloaf, wilt spinach into your pasta sauce, or make your mashed potatoes with half potatoes and half cauliflower.
Adding more vegetables into your diet might take some extra thought and planning at first, but it’ll become second nature before you know it.
Think you’re too busy to eat healthy? Think again. Download our free guide to eating healthy on a busy schedule.