We all know that we could benefit from consuming more veggies. However, actually doing so can seem dreadful and challenging. But it doesn’t have to be.
In this post, you’ll discover 10 easy ways to eat more vegetables that you can start applying right away.
No matter how few or many vegetables are finding their way onto your plate every day, these tips will help you add more.
Further, you’ll experience the benefits of vegetable-rich eating and discover how amazing veggies can taste.
But before we talk about these strategies, let’s quickly take a look at why you should eat more vegetables.
Benefits of eating vegetables
Eating a diet high in vegetables helps increase overall well-being and health. Moreover, it can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.
Vegetables are usually high in nutrients yet low in calories and fat. Thus, they are very nutrient-dense.
Vegetables are particularly rich in:
- Fiber, which promotes healthy digestion, aids in weight control and keeps you full longer.
- Potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and supports kidney and heart health.
- Folic acid, which helps prevent DNA changes and is essential for producing new cells.
- Vitamin A, which promotes eye health and strengthens the immune system.
- Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation.
- Phytochemicals, which have a variety of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
An additional benefit is that vegetables don’t contain any cholesterol, and most do not have any saturated fats. Both can be a risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases (particularly heart disease), so eating loads of veggies can help reduce the risk.
Summary: Eating a vegetable-rich diet can increase overall well-being and health while helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Vegetables tend to be high in nutrients and low in calories and fat. Among others, they are rich in fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. Vegetables don’t contain any cholesterol, and most don’t have any saturated fats.
So now that you know why you should eat more vegetables, let’s talk about how many veggies you should eat.
How big is one serving of vegetables?
One serving of vegetables is around 75 g or
- ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetable
- 1 cup raw or leafy greens
- ½ cup cut chopped raw vegetables
- ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables
How many servings of vegetables should you eat daily?
It is recommended to eat at least five servings of vegetables every day, but ideally, you should strive for ten. Now, if you are far from that number, don’t let that put you off. You don’t need to go from next to zero to 10 within the next week. Seriously, take it slow.
A slow but permanent change in your eating habits is much more beneficial than switching things quickly and reverting to old eating patterns after a while. So, here is a recommendation about how you can steadily incorporate more veggies into your diet.
1.Assess how many servings of vegetables you are currently eating and set a goal for how many servings you want to achieve.
- To find out how many servings you eat every day, it’s helpful to keep a food diary for 3-4 days and analyze it afterward. However, if you feel like this is too much work, try only jotting down all the vegetables you eat and use that information.
- Decide how many daily servings you want to eat eventually. Do you want to go all-in and reach 10? Great! Do you think that for the near future, five seems achievable? Go with that! Do you want a challenge but not make the goal too hard to reach? Go for the middle with 7-8 servings a day.
2.Start increasing your daily servings by one every month. Let’s say you are currently eating two servings. At the start of the next month, set the goal to now eat at least three servings of veggies every day. Then, the following month four, and so on. One additional serving a month is totally achievable, and I know you can do it.
What if you don’t even eat veggies every day?
Well, then your first goal is to make sure you eat at least one serving every day. Once you build that habit, start increasing monthly from there. One serving can be as simple as eating one medium tomato or a side salad. You got this.
If you are already eating lots of vegetables and feel confident that you can increase your servings much faster, you can, of course, do so.
There’s no one best way to approach eating more veggies, so do what feels right and doable to you. You can always adjust later down the road.
Summary: The recommended daily intake of vegetables is at least 5, but ideally, you should strive for ten. View getting there as a journey, not as something that needs to change overnight. Before you get started, it’s helpful to assess how many servings of vegetables you are currently eating and set a goal for how many you want to achieve. Then set the intention to add one additional daily serving every month. One serving of vegetables is 75 g or in cups: ½ cooked green or orange vegetables, 1 cup raw or leafy greens, ½ cup cut chopped raw vegetables, ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables.
Get the most bang for your buck.
If you are not yet a fan of eating vegetables but do want the most health benefits they offer as soon as possible, you could opt to eat the healthiest veggies.
According to Healthline, these are spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, Brussels sprouts, kale, green peas, Swiss chard, ginger, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, turnip.
However, this is not to say that these are the only healthy vegetables or that you should only eat these veggies and neglect all the other amazing veggies.
Summary: The healthiest vegetables are: spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, Brussels sprouts, kale, green peas, Swiss chard, ginger, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, turnip.
Alright, now let’s dive into what you came here to learn about:
10 strategies to eat more vegetables
1. Drink your veggies
The easiest way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet is by drinking them. Smoothies and homemade juices are great because you get a couple of servings of vegetables (and fruit!) in one glass. Drinking that is a lot easier than eating all these veggies (and fruits) individually.
Plus, depending on the recipe, you may not even taste the vegetable at all. One of my favorite ways to sneak veggies in unnoticed is by preparing a smoothie with berries, a banana, some seasonal fruit and then adding leafy greens such as spinach or kale.
Here are some of my favorite fruity smoothies:
- Vegan spinach smoothie with mango, peach, and strawberries
- Cranberry, apple, spinach smoothie
- Ginger colada green smoothie
If you want to get more than just one serving of veggies in, you can choose more vegetable-rich smoothies. I love a combination of spinach, apples, cucumber, avocado, dates, and rice milk.
Another great option is this green monster smoothie with kale and strawberries.
If you prefer juicing over smoothies, then you could try this simple green juice recipe. However, keep in mind that when you juice vegetables, you lose some benefits of veggies (f.e. fiber) in the process.
2. Spiralize vegetables
Make eating vegetables more fun by spiralizing them. This little twist makes vegetables like zucchini and cucumber go from ‘okay’ to “OMG! I could eat this all day.” I’m serious! Veggies don’t just look nicer but taste better as well.
The best vegetables for spiralizing are zucchinis, cucumbers, carrots, beets, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
You can add these spiralized veggies to your meal as a side or make a delicious main dish out of them, for example, by using them as a replacement for pasta (f.e. zoodles).
Note: You can find spiralizers in various price ranges from very affordable to expensive. Most cheap ones will do just fine (be sure to check out reviews before buying), so it’s not necessary to make a substantial investment.
In fact, if you’ve never tried spiralizing before, ask a friend or family member if you can borrow theirs for a few days to try it out. The more expensive ones are usually more convenient. They can make the process go faster, especially if you are cooking for more than one person.
Still, most a cheap one will often do just fine. Plus, you can always upgrade later and give your ‘beginner version’ to a friend to hook them as well.
3. Use frozen vegetables
Frozen vegetables are a great choice and super convenient because they are so simple and fast to prepare. Since they are already washed and often precut, you can easily add them to a recipe or throw them in a steamer to have a delicious and nutritious side.
Another benefit is that the veggies are frozen right after being harvested, so they retain most of their nutrients and freshness. Depending on how much time passes until they land on your plate, fresh vegetables may lose valuable vitamins and minerals.
Moreover, frozen vegetables are often super affordable, making them easier and more accessible to incorporate into your diet.
However, one disadvantage of frozen vegetables is that they are often packed in plastic (however, a lot of fresh ones are as well). So, if your store offers alternative packaging such as cardboard, I would encourage you to go for that option, if possible.
4. Eat a salad with your meal
Okay, I admit this is kind of boring, but effective nevertheless. Adding a side salad to your main dish makes it so simple to add some veggies to your day. The salad can be as simple as some leafy greens with dressing. To take it a step further, sneak in a few more vegetables by adding tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, bell peppers, etc.
Moreover, salads can taste fantastic if done right! So, let’s leave this “Salads are boring” attitude behind.
Give these recipes a try!
5.Season your veggies
How you season your vegetables (or lack thereof) has a significant impact on how they are going to taste. With the right seasoning, you can make any veggie go from -> to
Naturally, you’ll have to play around a bit to find out what you really like, as taste is different. Still, the following spices and herbs tend to go great with vegetables: rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, cumin, thyme, lemongrass, coriander, dill, ginger, garlic, and curry.
To make your veggies more exciting, you can also try Sriracha, hot sauce, low sodium soy sauce, or adding nuts and seeds.
Note: Although salt influences taste a lot, I recommend limiting your intake, as salt may increase blood pressure and damage blood vessels.
6. Try different ways to prepare your vegetables
Similar to how seasoning influences taste, how you prepare your vegetables can make all the difference.
Steaming, undoubtedly, is the healthiest way to cook most vegetables because the nutrient loss is minimal. While steamed veggies can taste delicious, many people, especially those who don’t eat veggies often, don’t find them very appealing.
So, here are some other preparation methods that you might try to make eating vegetables more fun for your taste buds.
Sauté vegetables in olive oil
To do so, simply heat some olive oil in a pan, add your cut-up veggies and top off with some herbs and seasoning. In just a few minutes, your tasty vegetables are ready to eat.
Another delicious way to prepare your veggies is to roast them in the oven.
To do so, cut up your veggies and put them in a large bowl. Then marinate them with plant oil that can handle high heat (f.e. canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil).
Next, add spices such as garlic powder, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and some herbs. Then pop them in the oven until they are nicely roasted (usually around 30 – 45 minutes, but cooking time varies depending on the vegetables you use).
Air frying is a method that has become quite popular in recent years because it is a healthier alternative to deep-fried foods. Air-fried veggies are lower in fat and calories, require a lot less oil to prepare, and in the process, fewer harmful compounds are created. Air frying makes vegetables super crispy and also quite delicious. Here is an excellent guide for air frying vegetables.
7. Try vegetable-based snacks
Snacks are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. I mean, if you’re in the mood for snacking, you may as well munch on something healthy.
Most snacks are simple and fast to prepare and can be a fun way to sneak vegetables into your day.
- A very popular snack is dipping vegetable sticks (such as cucumber, bell pepper, carrots) in hummus.
- Celery sticks with peanut butter are also a delicious option.
- You could also make homemade vegetable chips (such as kale, beets, sweet potatoes). The healthiest way to prepare them is in a dehydrator. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer or make them in the oven.
- Further, you could try tortilla chips with homemade salsa or guacamole and sneak in some veggies in this way.
8. Try vegetable-rich main courses
When you pick out a recipe, go for one that already has a few servings of vegetables incorporated in it. This way, you don’t need to worry about adding veggies to your meals since they are already integrated into the recipe.
Here are some main dishes that are usually rich in vegetables:
Additionally, you can add some veggies to your sandwich. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, or arugula to your sandwich to make it more filling, tasty, and nutritious.
9. Try meal prep
I am a huge fan of meal prepping because it saves a lot of time, money, and I always have something delicious to eat on hand, which means fewer impulse buys and less snacking.
Plus, if I already did the work to plan and prep vegetable-rich meals at the beginning of the week, it will be so much easier to go through with it. So, even if I get home from work and feel like ordering a pizza, I don’t because I know I have a delicious, healthy meal waiting in the fridge for me.
Here are some recipes you could check out:
- One-Pot Pasta
- Mediterranean Meal-Prep Bowl
- Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto
- Moroccan Chickpea, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Lunch Bowl
- Instant Pot Spinach Mushroom Pasta
- One Pan Mexican Quinoa
10. Don’t force yourself to eat veggies you don’t like
There may be some vegetables, where just the thought of eating them makes you cringe. Trying to force yourself to eat them might be counterproductive because it may make you want to eat fewer vegetables overall.
So, if you really don’t like a vegetable, it’s okay to not eat it. I love veggies, but I surely don’t love them all, and there are some I do my best to avoid.
But before you entirely cut out a vegetable from your life, I’d recommend you give these veggies ‘one last chance’. When you do, try various preparation methods because the way you prepare a vegetable impacts its flavor and texture and can make a huge difference.
For example, I was never a fan of asparagus until I tried it steamed. There are also some veggies that I don’t enjoy eating cooked, but I love them raw and the other way around. So play around and try out a few different things, but if you find you still don’t like that particular vegetable, let it go.
There are so many more to try and fall in love with!
So in this post, you’ve discovered 10 super easy ways to eat more vegetables. This means you now have no more excuses not to eat lots of veggies every day.
Here’s a quick recap of how to eat more vegetables:
Why you should eat more vegetables
Eating a vegetable-rich diet can increase overall well-being and health while helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Veggies tend to be high in nutrients and low in calories and fat. Among others, they are rich in fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and phytochemicals.
Vegetables don’t contain any cholesterol and usually are low in saturated fats, which also helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
How many vegetables should you eat?
The recommended daily intake of vegetables is 5 to 10 servings. The more veggies you eat, the better for your body and health, and the more benefits you experience.
Before you get started on your quest to eat more veggies, it can be helpful to assess how many servings of vegetables you are currently eating.
Next, set a goal for how many servings you want to achieve. Then set the goal to add one additional daily serving every month until you reach your goal.
How big is one serving of vegetables?
One serving of vegetables is around 75 g or
- ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables
- 1 cup raw or leafy greens
- ½ cup cut chopped raw vegetables
- ½ medium potatoes or other starchy vegetables
The healthiest vegetables are spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, Brussels sprouts, kale, green peas, Swiss chard, ginger, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and turnip.