If you’re an adult reading this article, odds are you’re not eating enough vegetables.
Just one in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published in the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least one-and-a-half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern. The CDC’s study found that 9% of adults met the intake recommendations for vegetables, ranging from 6% in West Virginia to 12% in Alaska.
Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults living in poverty. The reason these statistics are so staggering is the easy-to-see positive impacts of a vegetable-rich diet.
Seven of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are from chronic diseases. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.
Here’s how to easily add more vegetables into your regular diet.
One of the easiest ways to make vegetables a go-to snack is to make them more accessible when you get hungry.
You can load your refrigerator with vegetables, but leaving the broccoli on the stalk and the carrots unpeeled will serve as a deterrent to you grabbing it for a quick snack during the middle of the day.
Use an hour on the weekend to prep and package a variety of vegetables into plastic sandwich bags or small, covered glass dishes. This will make it easier for you and your family to grab some delicious vegetables instead of chips throughout the week.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT VEGETABLES
If you know you don’t like a certain vegetable, avoid coming home with it from the grocery store. Stick with a few favorites.
Choosing vegetables of the right colors is also important. The CDC recommends you brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange or dark green because they are full of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes and sweet potatoes.