Get Happy! Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
A new study from Australia which will be published in the August issue of American Journal of Public Health claims that eating more fruit and vegetables may actually make you happier.
Researchers found that people who switched from eating almost no fruit and vegetables in their daily diets to eating eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day experienced an increase in life satisfaction over the two years of the study equivalent to what an unemployed person feels after finding a job. The relationship between higher levels of life satisfaction and increased fruit and vegetable intake persisted even after the researchers accounted for changes in the people’s income or other life circumstances.
So not only is there a health benefit for eating more fruit and vegetables, now there’s a psychological and well-being payoff too!
We’ve all heard the ‘get-your-five-a-day’ guideline, but how can we sneak a few more fruits and vegetables in throughout the day to bring it up to the eight-a-day sweet spot?
Here are just some suggestions broken down by meals and snacks!
I have clients who eat a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast for breakfast (hello beige) so there is plenty of opportunity to have a more vibrant colourful breakfast and get extra fruits and vegetables at this meal.
- Have a salad – this citrus, fennel and avocado salad from flavorthemoments.com looks delicious and is breakfast-worthy
- Sweet Potato / Butternut squash hash – this sweet potato hash recipe has the added bonus of having kale too. It can easily be made AIP-friendly (leave out paprika) or SCD-friendly (sub butternut squash for the sweet potato).
- If you can tolerate eggs it’s very easy to throw some veggies in as you are making your scramble like spinach, onion, butternut squash etc. Having it with a side of avocado and berries will boost your fruit intake.
- Smoothies and smoothie bowls are a tasty way of packing in a good amount of fruit and vegetables. Check out my Green Smoothie and Acai Smoothie Bowl recipes
Sandwiches aren’t a great way of getting veggies. A lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato doesn’t even make one of the eight portions.
- Opt for lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches
- Veggie soup (can be cold or hot)
- Leftovers – this is what I do a lot of the time. I cook once in the evening and make enough veggies to do me for breakfast and / or lunch the next day
Instead of ‘meat and two veg’ why not raise the bar and have three or four veg? There are some easy ways of doing this:
- Swap out spaghetti for courgette / zoodles
- Swap out rice for cauliflower rice
- Try a cauliflower base instead of a normal pizza base
- If you are making mince or meatballs sneak some extra veggies in with the meat
- Cruditees with pate
- Try kale or brussel sprout crisps
- Zucchini muffins
- Sliced apple and nut butter
I’d love to hear any tips on how to get more fruit and veggies into your day!!