5 ways to eat more vegetables every week

Themis

Written by accredited dietitian Themis Chryssidis

From Sprout Cooking School & Health Studio

Posted: Nov 29 2021

90% of Australians do not consume the recommended five serves of vegetables every day. So, how can you squeeze into the top ten percent of healthy vegetables eating Aussies?

Vegetable intake

As a dietitian, cook, food educator, one of my key goals is to get people to eat more vegetables.

Why? What’s so special about vegetables?

  1. Vegetables contain a valuable source of fibre important for keeping us full and regular, reducing our blood sugar levels and cholesterol, helping us to maintain our weight and help lower our risk of some cancers.
  2. Vegetables provide an important source of vitamins and minerals, particularly water-soluble nutrients which our body does not store and must consume daily. For example B and C vitamins which are important for metabolic and immune function.
  3. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, those powerful plant chemicals that protect our cells and play a role in reducing our disease risk.
  4. Vegetables are low in energy and satisfying so they are fundamental to helping us manage our weight by keeping us satisfied for longer, reducing our snacking and allowing us to eat smaller portions of other higher energy foods such as meats and carbohydrate.

Despite these compelling reasons to eat more vegetables, 90% of Australians do not consume the recommended five serves of vegetables every day. So, how can you squeeze into the top ten percent of healthy vegetables eating Aussies?

It’s simple, make vegetables delicious! Stop eating vegetables begrudgingly and start eating them because you want to! You won’t need to rely on willpower, you won’t feel like you’re missing out and you’ll never need to diet again.

Here a few of my favourite ways to make vegetables more delicious and a regular part of your intake:

Get organised!

It takes longer to prepare your vegetables than it does a steak. As a result people either eat less vegetables or put less effort into their veg and the outcome is, well, as you would expect, less enjoyable than the steak they put a lot of love time and energy into preparing. So rather than skipping the veg to save time, try pre chopping, peeling and even pre blanching a heap of vegetables that you can then use at any time in salads, roasts or stir fries.

Up skill

Efficient knife skills are a huge help when it comes to slicing and dicing your veggies. The more confident and efficient you are with a knife, the more likely you are to eat more veg.

Frozen veg get the nutrition tick!

If you don’t have the time to squeeze in a few minutes of veg prep, then frozen veg are fine! They are affordable, convenient and nutritious. Keep a range of frozen veg available at all times.


Spice it up

Add dry spices like cumin, coriander and paprika to vegetables before roasting them. Use aromatic ingredients such as ginger, coriander, chilli and garlic to add flavour quickly to vegetables. Try making vegetarian curries and stir fries. The meal is less about the vegetables and more about the flavoursome broths, sauces and spices.


It’s not the vegetables’ fault – think about your preparation method

People don’t avoid vegetables because of the vegetables. Yes, you read that right. They avoid vegetables because the vegetables that most people prepare (especially those fed to children) aren’t appealing from a flavour and texture perspective. Think about a boiled potato, a baked potato, a roasted potato and French fries. The same vegetable prepared four different ways, and if given the choice 99% of people will choose to eat their potato as French fries. This is not about the potato. Would you boil a piece of eye fillet? Of course not, then why expect to enjoy boiled Brussel sprouts? Roasted - yum, pan fried – yes please, chargrilled – delicious!

Treat vegetables with more thought and inject flavour and texture through a variety of cooking methods such as pan frying, roasting, stir frying and grilling and through the use of additional flavoursome ingredients such as herbs and spices.

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Posted: Nov 29 2021

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The information contained here is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal medical situation. The information is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or used for therapeutic purposes. Should you require specific medical information, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. Health Partners does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

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