Looking to lead a healthier lifestyle but struggling to reduce your meat consumption? Or perhaps you're not a big fan of vegetables, but you know you need to eat more of them? Whatever your situation may be, this post is here to help!
Vegetables are packed with essential proteins, minerals, and vitamins. But not one single vegetable can cover all your body’s needs, hence the need to know your veggies, mix and match, and consume different recipes with different nutritional contents.
Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to eat more vegetables – even if you don’t really like them.
Benefits of eating more vegetables
Vegetables can offer loads of goodness to your health. To name a few, eating more veggies can:
- help lower blood pressure
- prevent cardiovascular diseases
- help you maintain or lose weight
- improve digestion
- regulate sugar levels
It’s worth noting that everything should be done in moderation – even the consumption of vegetables. Some veggies have high levels of sugar and calories, which may be counterproductive for your health goals.
You can find many resources online about the best veggies to consume depending on your health status and ideals. Once you get an idea of some of the veggies suitable for your needs, you can start incorporating them into your meals in fun ways! Below are 12 tips to help you out.
12 tips for eating more vegetables
1. Start a simple meal plan
Meal planning can be a game-changer for incorporating more veggies into your meals, especially if you're not used to eating them regularly. By choosing your meals in advance, you can make sure to include vegetables and balance your overall food intake – even on days when you don’t feel like eating greens or you start to crave something else entirely.
Plus, meal planning allows you to choose the foods you want to eat and maximize your ingredients’ benefits – a great way to take control of your health. Meal options may include sandwiches, noodles, pasta, and rice, among many other delightful dishes!
The idea of meal planning can sound like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t have to be. And no, you don’t have to follow someone else’s meal plan template. Instead, you can create something simple and easy, and ideally, one that looks pleasing to you.
2. Veggie-fy your fave meals
You can transform your favourite meals into healthier options by mixing in veggies! Whether it's adding some greens as a garnish, mixing them into the sauce, or simply adding them to the ingredients, it's an easy way to make your meals more nutritious. Plus, you can enjoy your favourite dishes healthily and guilt-free!
3. Sneak veggies in kid-friendly meals
This one is for parents who have been wondering how to get kids to eat more vegetables. Here’s one tested and proven way: sneak them into their meals with plant-based meat!
This trick not only adds nutrients and minerals to their diet but could also make the meal more delicious. Simply substitute the meat in your kid-friendly meals with plant-based options, and watch your kids devour their veggies without even realizing it!
4. Have less real meat & more plant-based options
Whose tummy does not grumble at the mention of meat? Meat lovers can find it hard to lessen their smokey, meaty meals, but one thing that can help you transition to consuming more vegetables is giving plant-based meat a try!
|Related read: What is plant-based meat?
With plant-based meat, you are not letting go of your staples, and you gain loads of options to play around with. Here on Brother Sprout, for example, you can find a wide variety of plant-based meat products, from meat strips to seafood bits – all made from textured soy proteins, which many people love.
Below are some plant-based meat recipes to help you in your next healthy meal:
- Meatless chorizo pasta (made with Chummy Chorizo)
- Porto B’y Con (made with portobello mushrooms and Da B’y Con)
- Soysage crumble fried rice (made with Soysage Scoff)
5. Blend some rainbow smoothies
For busy days, make yourself a glass of rainbow smoothie and bring colour to your day!
Just throw your favourite raw vegetables into a blender, add water or milk, and blend! Easy, right?
You can also match your rainbow smoothie with your mood! An orange carrot smoothie for a busy day? A green cucumber and spinach blend for a slow, chill day? You can also add fruits to the mix if you like.
6. Make light meals pop with veggies
By adding veggies to light meals like sandwiches, you’re sure to get your dose of protein even with on-the-go meals.
Here’s one light recipe you can try: a fish-free tuna sandwich! Ingredients are as follows:
- 100g plant-based seafood bits (hydrate with 100g water)
- chopped half onion
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- bread or flatbread
- ⅓ cup of mayo
- 1-2 tbsp everything bagel seasoning (optional)
- Cucumbers (optional)
7. Add veggies to soups
For cold winter days or any time you need a warm, comforting soup, there’s also a healthy option! Pureeing your favourite vegetables is an easy and healthy way to add nutrition to your soup. Don’t forget to add spices! You can also caramelize the vegetables to extract their natural sweetness and make your soup taste better.
8. Whip up some veggie rice
For a hearty meal, rice is the way to go. Whip up some rice in your wok, add veggies like cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, or peas — and you just turned a simple dish into a nutrient-packed meal that's both filling and delicious.
Here’s a Soysage Cabbage Rice recipe to show you how to mix veggies in your rice naturally. Ingredients are as follows:
- 150g plant-based sausage crumbles (hydrated with 300g water)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- chopped onions
- chopped garlic
- canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup rice (we used calrose)
- 1 cup corn
- 2-3 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 tbsp vegetable base
- 1 cup water (less may be needed for other types of rice)
- 1 tsp salt
- a dash of ground black pepper (optional)
9. Blend veggies into sauces
Adding veggies into sauces is a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients without altering the taste too much. Sometimes, the veggies’ natural flavours could even improve their taste!
For starters, you can try adding grated carrots or zucchini to spaghetti sauce or even pureed sweet potato as a base for a creamy sauce.
10. Try noodles with veggies
If you're looking for a heavy but quick meal, veggie-fied noodles are a great option. You can mix veggies with the sauce, use them as a garnish, or even make them the main ingredient. You can also use plant-based meat strips instead of real meat to up your game.
Here’s an easy and healthy nutty pancit recipe you can try. Ingredients are:
- 100g plant-based seafood bits (hydrated with 200g water)
- Half an onion (chopped)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup mayo
- bread or flatbread
- cucumbers (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp Everything Bagel seasoning (optional)
11. Roast veggies
After stir-fried meals and light snacks, you might want to try roasting your veggies. The best veggies to roast are potatoes and carrots, among many others. You can also mix roast veggies with plant-based meat!
You can opt to squeeze a lemon to add more flavour to the vegetables before putting them in the oven. It won’t take long before the timer strikes zero and you’ll be ready to eat your roasted veggies!
12. Munch on raw veggies for snacks
Raw veggies generally have lower calories than cooked veggies – something to keep in mind if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.
In fact, some vegetables are best eaten raw because of their rich and natural flavour. Below are some raw vegetables that you can munch as snacks.
Not a big fan of raw veggies? Our flavored plant-based meats can be eaten raw as well. Give ‘em a try if you’re craving some healthy, tasty, and veggie-fied snacks to munch on!
The options are endless if you’re eager to incorporate more veggies into your diet. By trying some of the tips above, you can slowly transition from barely having veggies to consuming them daily – and maybe even loving them!
Don’t be afraid to try and experiment with the wide variety of vegetables available to you. And remember, you can always explore plant-based meats and other alternatives to help you enjoy delicious dishes while getting the protein, fibre, and other nutrients your body needs.
Frequently asked questions
How many servings of vegetables should you eat in a day?
The recommended daily vegetable intake varies depending on age, gender, physical activity level, and health conditions. However, a study from Harvard reveals that 5 servings per day of vegetables and fruits can give optimal health benefits. Another study also suggests that 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits is ideal.
Does eating vegetables make you lose weight?
Yes, vegetables can aid weight loss since they are typically low in calories, high in fibre, and can make you feel full for longer. However, keep in mind that weight loss is a complex process, and you should consider other factors like exercise, sleep, stress levels, and hydration.
Does eating vegetables make you poop more?
Yes. Since vegetables contain high amounts of fibre, they can help aid digestion, promote regular bowel movement, and improve colon health.