A healthy diet includes an abundance of vegetables. They provide necessary nutrients such as vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and fiber. They are naturally low in calories and contribute to digestive health and heart health. As you increase your intake, try to eat a wide range of vegetables prepared in a variety of ways.
Steamed vegetables retain most of their color, texture, and nutritional value. Steaming is quick and requires no added oil. Best of all, when properly prepared they are delicious—firm, yet tender and moist. You can season them with garlic and herbs or add a prepared sauce.
The traditional way to steam vegetables is by placing them in a basket over boiling water on the stove. You can also add a little water to a shallow bowl, cover it, and steam them in the microwave. An instant pot or rice cooker with a steamer insert also works great.
Eat Them Raw
Raw vegetables are terrific snacks, especially when you’re on the go. You can make your own snack packs by chopping up carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, and cucumbers and portioning them into zipper sandwich bags. Chop them into finer pieces and add to lettuce and greens, and you’ve got a convenient, nutritious, and delicious lunch.
When eaten raw, vegetables have a number of advantages. Raw vegetables retain all of the water-soluble nutrients that are often reduced in the cooking process. Chewing them is healthy for your digestive and dental health. Carrots, celery and raw onions have a crunchy texture that’s good for your teeth, according to Maccaro Pediatric Dentistry.
Stir Fry Them
For variety, try stir-frying your vegetables. Stir-frying involves cooking vegetables quickly at a high temperature with little oil. Like steaming, stir-frying conserves the nutrients and renders the vegetables tender-crisp in a short amount of time. You can use a wok or if you don’t have one, a large frying pan.
Stir-frying is versatile because you add other ingredients into the same pan. According to Kitchn, you should fry your meat before adding vegetables. For a vegan dish, tofu should also be cooked before vegetables are added. Sauces can be added after the vegetables are cooked.
Vegetables are a great foundation for any healthy diet. However you decide to prepare your vegetables, aim for variety in tastes, textures, and colors. This will give you a full range of nutritional benefits and encourage you to keep getting your daily requirements of veggies.
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