Vary Vegetable Choices to Maximize Your Nutrient

Vegetables add color and texture to your meals, and vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber to your overall diet.
Vary Your Vegetable Choices to Maximize Your Nutrient Intake
  • Food from Dark green vegetables (kale; collard, turnip, and mustard greens; spinach). Serving size : 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Healthy hints : Top with low-fat salad dressings, a drizzle of olive oil, spices and herbs, lemon zest, and vinegar.
  • Food from Deep yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash). Serving size : 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Healthy hints : Season with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, or parsley.
  • Food from Cruciferous  vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy). Serving size : 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Healthy hints : Top with low-fat cheeses, parmesan cheese, lemon pepper, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, or light dressing.
  • Food from Others (peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, leeks, onions, pea pods, tomatoes, cucumber, and so on). Serving size : 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Healthy hints : Dip in light ranch dressing, sauté in a little olive oil and garlic, or tuck into sandwiches, tortillas, and pitas.
  • Food from Low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice. Serving size : 4 to 6 oz.. Healthy hints : Serve with a twist of lemon or lime over ice for a summertime cocktail.
These tips can help you incorporate vegetables painlessly:
  • Raw vegetables make great snacks—be sure to place them at eye level in the front of the refrigerator for all to see.
  • Stock up on frozen and canned vegetables for later in the week; rinse canned varieties under cold running water to reduce the sodium.
  • Add chopped vegetables to pasta dishes, soups, sauces, pizza, and casseroles.
  • Try quick cooking techniques such as steaming, grilling, stir frying, and microwaving.
  • Stock up on prewashed, prediced vegetables from the salad bar to minimize preparation time for recipes.
  • Seal chopped onions in premeasured amounts in freezer bags for recipes (double bagging can help prevent other foods from absorbing the onion smell).
  • Throw deli-roast chicken on a bed of romaine lettuce; add chopped olives, Parmesan cheese, and low-fat Italian dressing for a quick Caesar salad.
  • Scramble eggs or egg substitutes with leftover chopped vegetables and serve with toast and juice for breakfast.
  • Top a pita round with spaghetti sauce and leftover chopped veggies and a bit of shredded cheese; broil till crisp and enjoy!

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