Adding More Organic Vegetables to Your Diet

It’s common knowledge that you need to eat vegetables as part of your daily diet. The American Cancer Society recommends at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but we think the more veggies, the better!

Vegetables – particularly ORGANIC vegetables – contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients you need, as well as important phytonutrients that protect your body’s cells. PLUS, vegetables help you lose weight, reduce the risk of disease and cancer, and improve your overall health, since you’re replacing junk and sugar your body doesn’t need with healthful foods your body CRAVES!

Here are some easy ways you can start adding vegetables to your diet, whether it’s at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack:

Adding vegetables to breakfast:

*Add onions, peppers, spinach leaves and zucchini to eggs or tofu scrambles

*Add pumpkin or butternut squash to hot cereal – you can even sprinkle with cinnamon on top for a little extra flavor

*Add leafy greens like kale to a morning smoothie

Adding vegetables to lunch:

*Add sprouts, spinach leaves, cucumber slices, shredded carrots and zucchini to sandwiches and wraps

*Go green with a big salad – remember to use light dressing or order it on the side and only use half

*The more colors in your salad, the better! Add red and green peppers, jicama, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, celery, and whatever else you think of to salads for some variety

Adding vegetables to dinner:

*Double your portions of vegetables

*Make veggies the main focus of the meal by planning your dinner around the vegetables, and finding meat or lean protein to complement it

*Eat carrot sticks, broccoli, or other veggie slices as an appetizer

*Add vegetables to a marinara sauce for pasta

*Add extra vegetables to your favorites soups and stews

*Try naturally sweet vegetables like beets, corn, carrots and squash

*Grill hearty Portobello mushrooms as a main dish

Other tips on how to eat more vegetables:

*Keep ready-to-eat vegetables like carrot slices available in the fridge, or pack them up to go for a light snack when you’re at home or work

*Dip raw vegetables in low-fat dressings, hummus, or peanut butter

*Add fresh herbs and spices to your vegetable dishes, like basil, sage, and tarragon

*Bring out the flavor by roasting or grilling vegetables, or add a small amount of lemon juice and olive oil to them (keep in mind that olive oil is fattening, so be cautious and only use a tablespoon!)

*Keep track of how many vegetables you’re eating a day by using Organic Liaison’s Daily Journal to record your efforts

*Choose a side salad as a side offering at restaurants over french fries or other high carb and fattening foods

*Go vegetarian for a day and order vegetarian sandwiches, soups, salads, and more

Don’t forget to try Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup™, the famous soup Kirstie mentioned on Oprah! This creamy, delicious soup fills you up by blending rich green vegetables together, including leeks, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and shallots.

What are some of your favorite ways to add vegetables to meals? Tell us in the comments, or share how you eat veggies on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Deborah A. Klein, R.D., M.S.

Organic Liaison Health Director at www.organicliaison.com

Photo: Muffet’s Flickr photostream/Creative Commons
Photo: peet-astn’s Flickr photostream/Creative Commons

Deborah Klein, the Health Director for Organic Liaison, has been a Registered Dietitian for over 16 years, counseling clients on nutrition and fitness, and is the author of 200 Superfoods That Will Save Your Life published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. Her mission is to educate Organic Liaison members to achieve optimal wellness through balanced eating and exercise.At University of California, Davis, Deborah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and a minor in Exercise Physiology and received her Registered Dietitian license in Georgia. She also completed her Master’s of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and is a PhD candidate at Saybrook University Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine.
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