Often overlooked in a lot of diets, whether because we don’t like the taste or just forget, vegetables may be something you are not getting enough of in your diet. As kids, eating your vegetables doesn’t always come easy. Your parents tell you that you have to eat them to grow big strong, and be healthy, but sometimes as we get older, we fall short on eating our ideal amount daily. If you are not eating your vegetables, however, you may be missing out on important vitamins and minerals that are needed for your body to function properly.
Vitamins and minerals are what we refer to as “micronutrients.” These are important for many functions and metabolic processes in our body.
Vegetables are also split into both starchy and non-starchy. Neither are a bad thing, but it can make a difference in your macronutrient count and calorie count if that is how you keep track of your daily food intake. If you aren’t wanting vegetables to take up some of your carbohydrates (from the starches) for the day, sticking with some non-starchy options (bell peppers, cucumber, salad, spinach, etc.) may be the best option for you. However, if you need carbohydrates or want to allow for the starchy vegetables to account for some of your calories, starchy options certainly aren’t bad (including corn, peas, squash, etc).
Some easy ways to add vegetables to your diet?
- Try to make half of your plate vegetables. This is two-fold. You will definitely get your vegetable servings in, but in doing so, you will also be taking in more fiber, leading to a more satiating meal keeping you more full longer.
- Use them as a snack. Pack some carrots or cucumbers or whatever your favorite is, into some plastic baggies. They are an easy on-the-go snack that you can really eat anywhere! This is a way that I have found useful for myself.
- Mix them into the foods you’re already eating. Put them in the spaghetti sauce. Mix them into the meat. Whatever works for you!
You see, it isn’t too hard to get your vegetables in each day. It just takes a little bit of effort, and paying attention to make sure you do! Hopefully, this was useful in giving you some tips on how to add them in more easily! Now, get out there and eat your veggies!
By: Ryan McIvor