“Eat your vegetables!” It sounds just like your mom, right? But Mom (or Dad, or Grandma) was right. Eating vegetables is one of the best things you can do to lose weight, reduce illness, and be healthier this year…and always! That’s why my next fitness tip is to eat one serving (or more) at every meal.
Fit Tip #14: Eat a Serving of Vegetables at Every Meal
If you were anything like me, eating vegetables was just a rule my parents gave me. Beyond that, it didn’t really mean anything to me and I didn’t understand why it mattered. It made as much sense to me as keeping my room clean – didn’t seem to have any real value, just something my parents wanted…something that “old people” thought was important.
Nowadays, I’m much wiser and have realized that, if anything, my parents should have made me eat more vegetables! Vegetables are FULL of vitamins and minerals that we need to look and feel our best…nature’s medicine. They fight disease, help maintain and lose weight, improve our skin and hair, give us what we need to think clearly, focus, sleep well, heal our bodies, fight inflammation, and much more.
They are now a major staple of my every day and most meals. Aside from the health benefits, I do this because they are full of fiber (of which you should be eating at least 25 grams per day) which means you can fill up on very few calories. It’s a perfect weight loss hack. See, I like to eat. A lot. And if I can eat more food and take in less calories, I’m all about that! Veggies tend to soak in the flavor of things like soy sauce, sea salt, broth, sauces, and whatever else you may cook them in. That’s how I make them enjoyable and not bland and something I have to choke down.
Benefits of Eating Vegetables
Vegetables (and fruits) contain vitamins that help to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
- Prevent some types of cancer
- Increase satiety
- Lower risk of eye problems/diseases
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Reduce inflammation
- Skin protection from sun damage and free radicals
- Support weight loss
Ways to Make Vegetables More Tasty & Appealing
I get it, not everyone likes vegetables. They do tend to be a acquired taste. So experiment to find what you like. I hated broccoli and cauliflower growing up, until I realized that when it’s steamed I actually really enjoy it, as long as it has some sea salt or butter or coconut oil on it for flavor.
I’m a big fan of mixing them into things to hide the taste a bit. I’ve never been one of those fitness junkies who has a plate of plain chicken breast, a side of broccoli and some plain brown rice. Blech. But if I take all of those things and sautee them in some coconut oil and coconut aminos, then it tastes amazing and I enjoy the added texture from crunchy and soft vegetables.
Other ways to make vegetables taste better and squeeze them into meals are:
- Add spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes or peppers into an omelette or egg scramble at breakfast
- Salad of veggies like spinach, arugula, beets, peas, cucumbers, sliced carrots and protein
- Stir fry on a bed of riced cauliflower with soy sauce or coconut aminos – try shopping at an Asian market for new vegetables
- Grill or bake asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and sea salt
- Roast a variety with olive oil or coconut oil – eggplant, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, squash, zucchini
- Make spaghetti squash and top with a homemade meat pasta sauce
- Chicken salad with celery, peas, carrots, onion and Greek yogurt in place of mayo mixed with sriracha or mustard
- Soup – any soup is great for tossing in tons of veggies – bok choy, mushrooms, onion, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, kale, leek
If you have trouble eating vegetables due to digestion, try steaming or roasting them, as well as taking a probiotic to help aid in digestion and reduce bloating and gas.
What are your favorite ways to get in a colorful serving of the nutrient powerhouses? Share in the comments!