Fruits and Vegetables |
And is often vital to your weight-loss success following bariatric surgery.
These superfoods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and a number of antioxidants that can help you lose weight, boost your energy levels, strengthen your immune system, and even improve the appearance of your skin.
If you’ve recently made a series of healthy lifestyle changes following weight-loss surgery, you may already be in the process of increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. If you’re at a loss as to how to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, follow these tips for creative and fun ways to eat them all throughout the day.
1. Stock up on seasonal produce
Not only is seasonal produce far less costly than those sold during the off-season, but the flavors and nutrients will also be at their best. Buy watermelons during the hot summer when they’re juicy and rich in flavor, and stock up on squash and pumpkin during the fall months.
2. Consider buying produce that is pre-cut and pre-washed
If you find that you lack the time to slice and prepare fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks, consider buying bagged produce that is already cut and washed for the sake of convenience. While it’s true you may end up paying a little more, the investment may be worth your health if it causes you to eat more produce. Just make sure the produce you’re buying lacks sugar and additives of any kind.
3. Prepare produce in a variety of ways
Although eating raw produce is the healthiest way to go in most cases, try preparing your fruits and vegetables in multiple ways for the sake of variety and convenience. For example, if you’re grilling fish, add fruits or vegetables to the grill to sweeten their flavor. You can also steam your vegetables, or lightly sautee them in a pan with eggs.
4. Store a variety of vegetables in your refrigerator and add to every meal
Vegetables are a great side dish for nearly every meal you make throughout the course of the day. Vegetables can go in omelets, sandwiches, salads, soups, stews, and can be eaten plain as a snack between meals. Mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, kale, green onions, and broccoli are all examples of great-tasting vegetables you should have on hand at all times.
5. Try new fruits and vegetables, or those you haven’t eaten in years
As you become older, your taste buds tend to change, and may even continue to change when you make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking. Next time you visit the grocery store or local farmer’s market, grab produce you may not have eaten since you were a child or those that you might never have tried before. You might be surprised at how your tastes have changed over time.
6. Prepare a vegetarian meal one day per week, at a minimum
Most Americans like to add some form of meat to every meal, but you can actually get all the vitamins and minerals needed through a vegetarian diet. For at least one meal per week, hold the meat and prepare a meal that is strictly vegetarian. Make a vegetable stir-fry dish, prepare vegetable soup, or eat a dense salad.
7. Puree vegetables and add to meals
Pasta sauce mainly consists of pureed tomatoes, so you can make your own homemade pasta sauce and flavor with seasoning. You can also add pureed vegetables of any kind to most soups, sauces, gravies, and casserole dishes to make them healthier.
8. Add freshly sliced fruit to yogurt and cereal
Buy plain, low-fat yogurt that lacks sweeteners and additives and add your own freshly sliced fruit for flavor. When eating healthier cereals that lack sweetener, add fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries for a natural sweetener. You can also add fruit to other breakfast meals, such as granola, pancakes, and waffles.
9. Fill snack bowls with fresh fruit
Does your home or office have a snack bowl filled with candy, chips, or pretzels that can be grabbed and eaten on the go? Replace these items with bananas, apples, pears, oranges, and other fruits that can be also grabbed and eaten on the go, which are much healthier alternatives.