During the recent National Nutrition Week we were encouraged to eat more veggies. This message comes in the wake of figures that showed that less than 4% of Aussie adults and less than 1% of children are eating their recommended 5 serves of vegetables a day. Why is it so important to eat veggies?
- Vitamins and minerals in veggies promote healthy teeth and gums
- Raw veggies, such as carrots and celery, help stimulate saliva, which naturally cleanses our mouths
- Their low sugar content ensures that your teeth are not over-exposed to the nasty decay-causing substance
- Antioxidant-rich veggies can help to fight cancer-causing radicals in our bodies
How can you increase your vegetable intake?
- Eat the whole vegetable – skin, stalk and leaves
- Use up your ageing veggies that otherwise would be thrown out – use them in stocks, soups and stir-fries
- Choose ‘ugly’ and ‘imperfect’ veggies at the shop – they are just as nutritious, and often cheaper. Otherwise they end up in landfill!
- Add them to smoothies together with fruit and berries
- Have some cut up and ready to go in the fridge for a quick guilt-free snack (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, capsicum sticks)
- Dice, grate, mash them into your meals – picky kids won’t even know they are hiding in your patties and spaghetti Bolognese sauce!
- Be adventurous – use them in your desserts, such as pumpkin or sweet potato pie and beetroot chocolate mud cake
So go on, AIM FOR 5 A DAY!