Vegetables… you either love them or hate them.
Your like or dislike of vegetables probably comes from childhood, when you first got that weird little tree on your plate that your mom called “broccoli”, that did not quite taste as good as cheese.
Growing into adulthood, we understand the importance of vegetables and try our best to include those 5 to 7 servings in your daily meals.
Why does it have to be so hard? Are vegetables really that important?
Vegetable consumption may be more important that you know.
Many women with persistent HPV have been found in research to have lower than optimal amounts of fruits and vegetable intake. Because fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants, they can help to boost your immune system and increase your body’s resilience to HPV.
Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables is a theme that will continue to be repeated continuously in any scenario. It is, however, the simplest way to improve your overall health, so we encourage everyone to eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day.
This can sound daunting at first, but once you get the ball rolling, it can easily become a part of your daily routine! And guess what? You do not have to eat soft, tasteless green piles of mush!
Here are a few great tips to help you achieve your daily servings of fruits and vegetables without sacrificing your tastebuds:
1. Add a handful of baby spinach or kale to your morning fruit smoothie.
Dark green leafy vegetables are chock-full of folate and other amazing nutrients. Surprisingly enough, these will not interfere with the flavour of your smoothie, especially with added fruit. You will hardly know there are any greens in there at all, besides the colour, and you will have gotten a whole serving or 2 of vegetables out of the way before lunchtime! There are also frozen options of kale, baby spinach, and avocado, to name a few, that are pre-cut and washed, and easy to toss into your smoothie!
2. Make homemade soup.
Soups are an easy and delicious way to eat your veggies, especially in the winter when you might be craving warm “comfort food” instead of cold salad. From a traditional Asian medicine perspective, you should be eating warm, cooked foods as they are easier for your body to digest, allowing for easier nutrient absorption! Cut up a variety of vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers, squash, kale, and boil it in broth with your seasonings of choice and enjoy! You can usually get at least 3 servings of vegetables through a serving of homemade vegetable soup.
3. Make healthy chips.
…kale chips, that is! Kale chips are easy to make, and can be an alternative to chips, giving you that crispy bite and savoury taste that many people often crave! Take a head of kale, strip the leaves from the stem, and rip the leaves into smaller pieces. Lay the kale pieces flat on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Let them bake in the oven at 250°C for about 20 to 30minutes, or until dry and crispy. These will soon become your favourite movie night snack!
4. Choose the side salad option.
Eating out? As tempting as it may be to order a side of fries with your burger, choosing the side salad is a better idea for your health, contributing to your daily vegetable serving count. Not to mention, fried potatoes are very bad for you, in ways that you may not imagine! Check out our blog on acrylamide here to learn more (HYPERLINK ACRYLAMIDE BLOG). Little changes here and there can add up to a big positive change!
5. Bake with vegetables.
Another easy to incorporate vegetables into your day is by baking with them. This can mean baking veggies to make them into snacks or sides for meals, as baking will help with high volume vegetable cooking, or you can actually make baked goods with vegetables! Take a look online for some delicious, veggie-based, baked goods recipes! Here is a recipe for zucchini-based brownie that is certifiably delicious.
Looking for extra support? Check out Papillex’s high-quality, hand-picked ingredients that contain the active components of many superfood vegetables!