Getting your body the nutrients it needs is a big step to better health. However, many Americans aren’t getting the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Each person’s nutritional needs vary based on age, gender, medical conditions, and more, but getting adequate amounts of these often-forgotten food groups is a good way to ensure you have a well-rounded diet. Talk to your doctor for help with a personalized nutrition plan based on your goals and dietary restrictions.
Interested in learning how to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your family’s diet? Keep reading.
Eat Your Vegetables
Experts recommend we eat 2.5 to 3 cups per day, but most American adults eat less than 1.5 cups of vegetables per day. A diet rich in vegetables has been shown to lower your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. In addition to being full of vitamins, vegetables contain beneficial amounts of fiber and protein.
Not sure which veggies contain which vitamins? Look for color on your plate. Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are full of vitamin A and folic acid, while red vegetables, like red bell peppers, are chock full of vitamins C and A. This recipe for Mediterranean Diced Salad is an excellent way to get these nutrient-rich colors on your plate.
Don’t Forget Fruits
Only 13 percent of adults eat the recommended 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day. What’s more, 39 percent of Americans don’t eat any fruit at all most days. Like vegetables, eating a colorful variety of fruits is a good way to get a boost of vitamins and nutrients.
For easy ways to add fruits into your diet, enjoy a healthy smoothie for breakfast or swap processed snacks for a piece of fruit. You can also use fruits to liven up your savory weeknight dinner. Check out our recipe for Teriyaki Chicken and Mango Salad to add nutrients in a delicious way. This salad is also a great source of vegetables and lean protein!
Got Whole Grains?
There are numerous benefits to eating whole grains. They contain fiber for digestion and weight management, magnesium for healthy bones, and selenium, which supports the immune system. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, while processed grains lack the bran and germ of the kernel.
The CDC recommends we eat 5 to 8 ounces of grains daily, half of which should be whole grains. Check labels at the grocery store to see which grains are whole grains—remember, labels like “multigrain” and “whole wheat” do not necessarily mean the product is whole grain.
There are many tasty ways to add whole grains to your diet. One of our favorites is this Pear and Quinoa Salad, which also includes a delicious serving of fruit.
Are you and your family getting the right nutrition? Try these tips and recipes to introduce extra vitamins into your diet, and talk to your doctor at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group for more information and personalized recommendations.
The Ingredients of a Healthy Diet
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