If getting greens in your diet is always a struggle, then we're here to help. Adding more vegetables to your meals comes with a bevy of benefits — like getting essential vitamins and minerals, fighting off illness, having more energy, and even losing weight. Step one to all these great perks? Eating more greens! Here are some super sleuth (and super simple) ways to get more green into your body every day.
- Add a green to each meal. Throw arugula or kale into your breakfast scramble, add a side salad to your lunch, snack on Brussels sprouts chips midday, and cook up some broccoli at dinnertime.
- Try one new veggie each month. Confession: I didn't try Brussels sprouts until after college — my mom never made them, so I never ate them. A friend of mine had never eaten green beans until she ate dinner with my family once. Most of us eat foods that we're most familiar with, based on our parents' cooking, so it's up to us as adults to experiment. Challenge yourself to try a new veggie each month, and try it in all its forms to give it a fair shot. You'll open yourself up to more meals and recipes than ever before.
- Experiment with recipes. Speaking of giving things a fair shot — maybe you think you hate certain vegetables, but you haven't had them prepared in the right way for your tastes. If you can't stand plain raw carrots, try them pickled or cooked. Not a fan of cooked spinach? Try it in a salad. Maybe you hated candied yams growing up, but would love a savory sweet potato sauté.
- Sneak them in. Go for total stealth mode when you need to — veggies can be sneaked into in foods you're already eating! Throw spinach or kale into smoothies. Sneak some spinach into brownies, muffins, breads, and pancakes.
- Make plant-based swaps. When you can, swap a starchy carbohydrate side like a pasta salad or rice or mashed potatoes for a vegetable. You can do this for your main entree, too! Instead of getting chicken in your quinoa bowl, try broccoli or sweet potatoes. Make a veggie stir fry or Thai-style curry with cauliflower, or go a step further and switch rice for cauliflower rice.