Let’s go into WHY vegetables are such a crucial component of a healthy diet and how much we actually should be eating before we discuss how to include more vegetables in your family’s diet on a regular basis.
Why is Food Variety Important?
Our general health and welfare depend on the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that vegetables give. The body needs vitamins and minerals for a variety of functions, including cell maintenance, immunity, chemical reactions, our ability to turn food into useful energy, and much more. Vitamins and minerals are necessary nutrients. For instance, phytochemicals act as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents in the body, while fiber is crucial in the control of cholesterol, diabetes, and the general sense of fullness. Every vital vitamin is crucial for the control of the disease.
How Much Vegetable Should They Eat?
The daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables were the main focus of the previous iteration of Paramus’s Food Guide. Paramus’s Food Guide now suggests filling 50% of your plate with fruits and vegetables, which simplifies planning instead of emphasizing serving sizes. At meals and occasional snacks, try to include fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
Does the Color of the Food Matter?
The key to a happy life is variety. It’s critical to stress the importance of including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and foods of different colours in your diet. This is crucial since the nutrients in fruits and vegetables vary depending on their color.
Phytochemicals or phytonutrients are frequently responsible for the color components found in fruits and vegetables. Because these nutrients are part of a plant’s defense mechanism, which is a lot like our immune system, when we consume plant-based foods, our bodies also experience defense. According to research, consuming a wide range of fruits and vegetables and getting enough of each can lower our chance of developing chronic diseases.
The advantages that each color has to give are listed below:
- Orange: rich in carotenoids, which have been connected to a lower risk of eye disease and some malignancies.
- Anthocyanin-rich blue foods assist in maintaining brain function as we age.
- Green: a color rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants.
The majority of vegetables include many of the same vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, yet each has a distinct function in the body.
How to Increase Vegetable Intake
After learning why it’s so important to eat enough veggies, let’s look at various strategies by eating more vegetables.
Following are six simple methods to begin consuming more vegetables:
- With these tasty yet veggie-filled recipes, you can sneak vegetables into kids’ diets!
- Pick at least two different types of veggies to put on your meal. provide diversity by mixing raw and cooked veggies in your dish, or use colorful vegetables to provide color and more nutrients.
- Make your vegetables tastier by adding flavor! Butter, oil, salt, spice mixtures, nuts, and seeds are all useful ingredients. You’re more likely to eat more if you enjoy the flavor.
- Create simple replacements. Large-leafed lettuce can be used in place of wraps and bread, while spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini can be used in place of pasta.
- Make vegetable chips out of them! With just a little salt and some time in the oven, vegetables like sliced beets, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and kale produce wonderful chips.
- Vegetables are important at snack time. Consider bringing easy-to-carry foods like raw cauliflower with hummus, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers, small cucumbers, or baby carrots with hummus, to name a few.
Bread with Chocolate Zucchini Recipe
When combined with a bowl of Greek yogurt, some nuts and fresh fruit, or both, this dish keeps nicely and makes a delicious component of a healthy breakfast. Additionally, it makes a delicious dessert or nut-free snack for school lunches. This recipe can simply be multiplied to create a freezer stockpile.
- 1/4 cup butter
- Oil, 1/2 cup
- 2 eggs
- Sugar, 1 3/4 cups
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon of vinegar-soured milk)
- 1.5 cups of flour
- 4 tbsp. cocoa
- Baking powder, 1/2 tsp.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh or frozen grated unpeeled zucchini
- chocolate chips, half a cup
- Mix sugar and butter. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and oil.
- Cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and flour should all be combined.
- Combine chocolate chips and zucchini.
- Pour into two 9 x 5 loaf pans that have been oiled and floured (or one 10″ Bundt pan).
- When the top springs back when lightly touched, bake for about 45 minutes at 325 F.
10 slices each loaf, 2 loaves total.
One Slice = One Serving
- 234 calories
- 10 g of fat, 35 g of carbohydrates.
- Protein 2.8 grams
- Fiber, 1 g.