The analysis of the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that Americans are under consuming dark green, red, and orange vegetables. The Dietary Guidelines recommend 1.25 cups of total vegetables and 0.50 cups of dark green, red, and orange vegetables per 1,000 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet. This may come as no surprise to you, but how are we going to fix this long-lasting shortfall within our country?
Well here are a few tips to increase your dark green, red and orange vegetables in your daily diet:
· Add veggies you almost like to dishes you already love.
-Layer zucchini slices, chopped spinach, or cooked carrots into lasagna, stir broccoli florets into macaroni and cheese, toss whatever veggies you like into an omelet or quesadilla.
· Try them in soup.
-Embellish your favorite soups with added veggies. Most canned and commercial choices can stand to have their veggie quota bumped up. Just add the raw or frozen vegetables while you are cooking or heating the soup.
· Take raw vegetables skinny dipping.
-Have you tried using plain Greek yogurt with a Ranch or Onion seasoning mix to make a light vegetable dip? You will be getting live active cultures, protein and all of the benefits of the vegetables, talk about double dipping!
· It's all about the cheese.
-When all else fails, you can always sprinkle a little grated, reduced-fat cheese over the top. Drizzle it over vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower and suddenly, it's a whole different ball game.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture-Economic Research Service