Fresh Ideas to Eat Healthier

Fresh Ideas to Eat Healthier

An apple a day certainly helps, but getting all your fruits and veggies is even better.

By: Shari Brooks

We’ve all probably heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but do we practice what we preach?

To a certain extent, the idiom is true — what we consume on a daily basis can have a direct effect on our overall health.

If we become more thoughtful about the food we eat, pay attention to our cravings and simply tweak our eating habits — by adding more fruits and veggies to our diet — there’s no doubt we’ll experience a heightened sense of wellbeing both physically and mentally.

Thinking back to the food pyramid, what’s so important about eating generous servings of fruits and vegetables?

Well, they’re loaded with lots of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fibers. And, they’re generally low in fat to boot. Not to mention, they’ve also been medically proven to not only help boost our immune systems, but also to help prevent chronic diseases.

The best part about eating fruits and vegetables is that they’re very satisfying — reducing any chance that you’ll want to snack on “junk food” afterward.


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Take Cues from Your Body
Chances are, munching on a salty bag of chips or eating over-processed food will cause a lapse in your energy level and not satiate your hunger. However, eating a ripe fresh piece of sliced fruit or some sautéed vegetables will satisfy your hunger and invigorate you.

Here are some easy, helpful suggestions to allow fruits and vegetables the nutritional spotlight they deserve in your diet:

Color is Key
Each fruit and veggie is made up of different key nutrients. It’s fairly easy to adjust your diet to include a healthy, colorful palette. For breakfast, just add fruit toppings to your oatmeal, cereal, pancakes and waffles. Or, you can add vegetables like onions and peppers and broccoli to your omelet. For lunch or dinner, you can make your salads burst with flavor and texture and top them with fruits like blueberries, raisins, pears, oranges, peppers, carrots and cranberries. Just make sure to sample from the variety of fruit and vegetable colors to ensure you’re receiving all the benefits from their broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and fibers!

Don’t forget frozen fruits have a very long shelf life and are ideal for smoothies. Stock your freezer with frozen grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peach slices or pineapple slices, and you’ll have an endless supply for smoothie experimentation — a healthy way to start your day or served as a refreshing afternoon snack. Fruit smoothies are the perfect method to sneak more green vegetables into your diet if you can’t stand the taste of greens. You’ll reap the benefits of all their vitamins and minerals without having to stomach the actual taste.

Raw Fruit
Before you go crazy with your gastronomic inventions, remember to stick with the basics. Vegetables are just as tasty raw and are at their peak nutritional value! Not everything needs to be steamed or sautéed or baked or fried. Try eating raw vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli) as a snack with flavorful spreads like peanut butter, hummus, salsa, low-fat dressings or Parmesan cheese.

Lastly, find a place for avocados in your life! They’re revered their high fat content — but it’s the type of fat that actually lowers cholesterol. Keep a bunch of avocados on your countertop, and you can use them as garnishes on your salads, as toppers for your burgers, for smoothies, or as the base for a delicious homemade guacamole!

Shari is a former MTV marketer and now the founder of the food and video blog My Judy the Foodie, which was voted a Top 25 Foodie Mom blog by the website Circle of Moms. She also writes about parenting, family, healthy living, fitness, work/life balance and is a breast cancer ambassador.

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