March is National Nutrition Month, which is a great time to celebrate all the benefits of eating fresh produce. It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy lifestyle. The vitamins and minerals in produce help the body function well, from protecting your eyes to helping your skin heal.
Regular produce intake can also reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases, heart disease and cancers1. To help you stay on track with getting plenty of produce in your diet, here are six ways to eat more veggies:
1. Variety is key. Don’t just go for what you would normally eat. Experiment and try new things so your diet doesn’t go stagnant. Something as simple as swapping beef for eggplant in Italian dishes is a tasty and healthier alternative. Our Pasta, Pasta Pasta! Pinboard has plenty of veggie-filled ideas!
2. Go for colors. The more colorful the plate, the healthier it is2. Our sweet bell peppers come in all kinds of beautiful colors. Add in some purple with an eggplant and some reds with tomatoes, and you have a rainbow on your plate.
3. Experiment with different recipes. Your mom might have snuck some veggies in to your meatloaf as a kid, but you can get extra creative with pureeing them and adding them to soups, chili, and even mac & cheese! Try Eggplant Vegetable Soup or Slow Cooker Dips.
4. Substitute snacks. For healthy snacks, think outside the box to take snacking to new heights. Whip up a produce-packed 7-Layer Mediterranean Dip, or try our tomatoes in oven-baked Crispy Parmesan Tomato Chips
5. Meal prep. When you’re pressed for time, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge for fast food. Plan ahead and pack your meals on those days you know you’ll be in a hurry, and keep our 6 Meal Prep Tips for Busy Times
Get even more healthy ideas our fruit and veggie-based Pinterest boards!
1Source: ChooseMyPlate.gov, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
2Source: Produce for Better Health, Fill Half Your Plate with Color by Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN.