The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the results from its Survey of the eating habits of Australians, revealing that only 6% of Australians are eating the recommended number of serves for veggies: Read ABS’ findings here.
Vegetables are low in kilojoules and nutrient dense – providing fibre and an impressive range of vitamins and minerals. Different coloured vegetables provide us with different nutrients, so variety is key – try eating as many different kinds and colours of vegetables as possible.
A high intake of vegetables has been associated with numerous health benefits including:
- Reduced risk of a range of cancers including lung cancer, colorectal, prostate, oral and nasopharyngeal cancers,
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
- Reduced risk of weight gain
So what are you waiting for? Try some of the following tips to help you get your 5+ a day.
- Get into the habit of having side-salads/ veggies with all of your dinner meals – aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables
- Keep a bag of frozen veggies in the freezer for a quick and convenient addition to meals
- Try adding veggies to your smoothies – adding a handful of spinach to a banana smoothie will add a nutritional punch without having a big impact on the flavor
- Try snacking on veggie sticks with dips, rather than using crackers
- Add vegetables to pasta sauces – try adding grated carrot/ zucchini to a bolognaise
- Veggie soups and stews are satisfying and warming winter meals – and a great way to use up all the left-over veggies in your fridge – try this delicious vegetable soup recipe from the Dietitians Association of Australia website
- Start the day off on the right foot by adding veggies to your breakfast! Grilled tomatoes, sautéed spinach, fresh avocado – or even good old baked beans – are a great way to sneak some veggies into your morning meal