Most of us don't get enough vegetables. In fact, 90% of Americans don't get the recommended 2-3 servings a day. (For most vegetables, 1 cup is a serving. For raw, leafy vegetables like salad greens it's 2 cups). Vegetables are a great source of healthy nutrients like fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A.
They also play a big role in helping people lose or maintain weight. Vegetables are rich in fiber, which helps fill you up. Plus, when you're eating more low-calorie vegetables, there's less space for eating less higher-calorie less-healthful foods.
You may think you don't like vegetables, but maybe you just haven't tried the right preparation. Broccoli may taste boring steamed, but roasted and topped with parmesan cheese (like in this Balsamic & Parmesan Broccoli), and it takes on a sweet and nutty flavor.
Looking for more inspiration? Take our Eat More Vegetables Challenge.
Here are seven easy (and delicious ways) to eat more vegetables.
The nutrients you get are a plus for your health, but eating produce in the morning can also help you maintain a healthy weight. A recent Cornell University study looked at the habits of people with normal BMIs—just naturally, without trying—and found that 96 percent ate breakfast, versus skipping it or merely sipping coffee. The most common items on their A.M. menu? You guessed it: fruits and veggies. So whip up a chock-full-of-veggies omelet or smoothie bowl bursting with fruit.
Research has shown that when people eat soup they tend to eat fewer calories. Soup is also a great way to eat more vegetables because you can add a lot of produce to your soup pot. Make one of these chock-full-of-vegetables soups to help you get your fill this week.
And we don't mean potato chips and French fries. Your snacks should help you fill up in between meals so you don't feel starving at dinner. They also can help you fill your vegetable quota. Try carrots or cucumbers dipped in hummus, celery with peanut butter or a small cup of vegetable soup.
Read more: 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
Flip pasta night on its head and make noodles out of vegetables. Use sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, turnips or beets to replace pasta and you'll be getting loads of nutrients for not a lot of calories. Make Shrimp Scampoi Zoodles, Sweet Potato Carbornara for dinner tonight or try our other vegetable noodle recipes. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to create long "noodles" with your vegetables. See our picks for the best spiralizers here.
Cut down on calories and carbs by using with lettuce to make a wrap. Butter lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, lacinato kale and swiss chard all make good stand-ins. It's a fun spin on lunch or dinner and an easy way to add more vegetables to your day. Wrap up your favorite sandwich fillings or get inspired by our healthy lettuce wrap recipes.
Think outside the box of traditional lasagna and instead of noodles use spaghetti squash. You get a satisfying portion of lasagna and a full serving of vegetables in this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini recipe.
Get more veggie-packed inspiration with our Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipes.
Make eating vegetables fun and whip up homemade chips with beets, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts or kale. Baking thin slices or leaves with a little salt gives you a crunchy snack or side. Even kids and picky eaters can't resist vegetables when they're served like chips!