Eight easy ways to get more veggies into your diet

Victoria Evans
Nutritionist and Centre Manager at Bupa UK
06 February 2019
Next review due February 2022

We all know that we should be eating more fruit and veg, but sometimes saying it is much easier than doing it. Guidelines from the Department of Health say we need to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. And there’s good reason to – people who eat more fruit and veg have a lower risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

You’ll get the most health benefits if you eat a variety of fruit and veg every day. Think about it as if you’re aiming to eat a rainbow. Choose from fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit and veg – they all count.

Follow the eight tips below to up your veggie intake and take a look at our general advice on healthy eating for more information.

1. Top up on tomatoes

Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are a versatile way to make sauces for meals like curries and pasta dishes. Adding in onions, garlic, carrots or whatever else you fancy and then blending is an easy way to get more veg in. This is particularly good for fussy eaters!

Different coloured tomatoes

2. Super salads

Make a salad to go with most meals, whether that’s lunch or dinner. The aim is for a third of your daily diet to be made up of fruit and vegetables, so start with filling a third of your plate with the good stuff. For an easy simple salad, build a base with some leaves (lettuce, rocket, whatever you fancy). Then add in a chunk of cucumber, seven cherry tomatoes, half an avocado and some red onion for flavour – rainbow on a plate. Easy!

A bowl of salad

3. Add handfuls of spinach to everything!

Spinach is great to add in at the end of cooking stews and curries, and it can even be added to breakfast smoothies. It doesn’t have a strong flavour but provides you with some essential nutrients like vitamins K, A and iron.

A bowl of spinach leaves

4. Make ‘veggie’ rice and spaghetti

If you’re eating a lot of refined starchy carbs, like white bread and rice, switch to wholegrain versions and try replacing some with more veg. Blend cauliflower until it becomes like the consistency of rice; spiralize or julienne peel your courgette to make it look like spaghetti; and swap your bread now and then for little gem lettuce cups.

A person thinly slicing courgette

5. Snack attack

Make veg sticks like celery, cucumber and carrot for snacks and keep them at eye-level in the fridge so it prompts you to eat them. Even better, take them to work to have with a dip like low-fat hummus. This is made with chickpeas and provides an essential protein hit, helping to keep you full throughout the day.

Image of a bunch of carrots

6. Hydrate yourself

Did you know that Brussel sprouts contain a higher percentage of water than oranges? It’s so important to stay well hydrated, and incorporating some choice fruit and veg can help you do just that. Check out these 10 water-rich fruit and veg that can help keep your water levels nicely topped up.

Image of Brussels sprouts

7. Winter warming soups

A hot steaming bowl of soup is such a comfort in the winter, and it’s easy to make for lunch or supper. It’s also a great way to use up veggies in your fridge so nothing gets wasted and a chance to get creative in the kitchen. And for some exciting flavour combinations and inspiration, why not try out some of our winter-warming soup recipes?

A bowl of soup

8. Veggie baking

Did you know you can also use veggies in your baking? Carrots, beetroot and courgette are some of the vegetables that work really well. A great advantage of using veggies is that their natural sweetness means you won’t need to use as much sugar. For more detail, have a look at our Healthier baking information.

A slice of carrot cake

Just remember to add a variety of veg into each meal where you can. You can go for fresh, frozen or tinned – whichever is easiest for you. Planning your meals in advance and making a list for the supermarket can also help you to maximise your veg intake, while ensuring nothing gets wasted.

Are you interested in learning more about your health? Discover more about our range of health assessments.

Victoria Evans
Victoria Evans
Nutritionist and Centre Manager at Bupa UK

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