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June 2021

10 Ways to Add Vegetables to Your Day

Vegetables are packed with vital nutrients and contribute to healthy aging.  Despite all of the health benefits, most older adults fall short of the Dietary Guidelines recommendation.  Here are 10 ways to boost your vegetable intake and meet the daily target of 2 to 3 cups each day.

Boost Your Veggies
Start your day by adding spinach, mushrooms and red bell peppers to scrambled eggs. 

Brighten your plate at lunch and dinner with colorful vegetables. The more colorful, the more health benefits.

Add more vegetables to your salad like cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes.  Use fresh herbs such as basil and cilantro to enhance flavor and provide added benefits.

Add finely chopped celery, onions and cucumbers to tuna, chicken or egg salads.

Include lettuce or spinach, tomato or onion, cucumber or jicama on a sandwich instead of chips.

Vary your salads: have coleslaw, broccoli slaw, or tomato and cucumbers; try marinated vegetables such as pickled beets or roasted peppers. 

If you enjoy soups, stews or chili, add vegetables!  Chopped spinach, carrots, green beans, greens and turnips are good additions. Use a low sodium soup or stock.

Have fresh or frozen vegetables readily available.  Steam in the microwave for a quick & easy side dish to add to any meal.

Keep cut-up raw vegetables in the refrigerator that are ready to eat throughout the day.  For an easy dip, mix plain Greek yogurt with salsa, hummus or guacamole to make them tastier.

Try a new seasonal vegetable each week.  Check the local market specials for the best in-season buys or visit your farmer’s market.

The Bottom Line

  • Meeting your daily target for vegetables allows your body to function at its best.
  • Health benefits are derived, in part, from various natural plant compounds in vegetables that are identified by color.
  • Vary your vegetables for optimal nutrition and health.
  • Strive for at least 3-4 cups daily.
  • Make half your plate veggies at lunch and dinner.  It’s a good step towards meeting your daily target.
  • Each season brings a fresh chance to discover new vegetables to enjoy at their peak quality and flavor.

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