Eating a variety of vegetables is also important. There are different vitamins and minerals e.g. spinach is a source of plant-based iron while red peppers are a source of vitamin C. In terms of our gut bacteria, there are 100’s of different species and just like people they have different ‘taste palates’, so variety is encouraged to feed the different bacteria. Having 20 or more different plant foods in our diet each week has been recommended so try to include as much colour on your plate as possible!
So how can you improve your vegetable intake?
Disguise the vegetables. This can be particularly helpful if you don’t like the texture (or if you have kids with challenging palates!). Try adding a handful of kale to a smoothie or blending a Bolognese/curry sauce once cooked. This will remove the texture of the vegetables and create a smooth consistency before adding your protein source.
Can you add an extra vegetable to your dinner? Try adding green beans, peppers, mangetout, onions or corn to your curry for example.
Try different cooking methods. Roasting vegetables creates a sweeter taste (try peppers, courgettes, butternut squash, carrots, onions for example).
If you are a parent/guardian role model behaviour can be helpful when trying to introduce new foods to your children.
Frozen fruit & veg are a great alternative to fresh produce if you’re looking to reduce food waste and save a few bob in the process. It also allows us some more variety in our diet. Research has shown that frozen fruit & veg is sometimes even more nutrient-dense than fresh options after a few days in storage!