Healthy Living

Veg out! Fill your plate with colorful, heart-healthy veggies

Heart-healthy veggies and tips on preparing them

We all know vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that are important for a balanced diet and a healthy body, but sometimes it’s still a struggle to eat enough (the average adult should eat between two to three cups of vegetables daily!). Sarah Schmidt, a registered dietitian with Augusta University Family Medicine, shares these easy ways to get nutritious, heart-healthy veggies onto your plate.

Choosing: Consider cost and flavor

“Vegetables that are in season usually cost less and have more flavor,” said Schmidt.

Your local farmers market can be a great resource for seasonal produce. Select vegetables that are rich in color and aren’t bruised or damaged. Or, have fun growing your own vegetables.

Frozen vegetables keep longer and can be an easy addition to meals. Choose products without added sauces to reduce saturated fat and sodium.

Canned vegetables may be less expensive than fresh and more likely to have regular sales or discounts. Look for “reduced sodium,” “low sodium” or “no salt added” for better health benefits.

Eating: Make them convenient and interesting

Raw veggies such as baby carrots, grape tomatoes and celery sticks are easy grab-and-go snacks.

“Jazz them up with a heart-healthy dip like hummus or plain Greek yogurt. Kids may enjoy making ‘ants on a log’ (peanut butter and raisins on a celery stick) or dipping vegetables such as cucumbers and crinkle carrots into low-fat ranch dressing,” said Schmidt.

Sneak chopped vegetables into favorite foods such as lasagna or macaroni and cheese, blend spinach into a fruit smoothie, or shred zucchini into breads.

Use cooked, pureed vegetables in soups and to thicken stews.

Grill out! Try vegetable kabobs with tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers and onions.

For more healthy eating tips and recipes, visit our Pinterest board!

Trust the experts at Augusta University Health with all of your health and wellness needs. We offer a variety of care centers and practice sites to fit your schedule. To make an appointment at one of our care centers today, visit augustahealth.org, or call 706-721-2273 (CARE).

About the author

Augusta University Health

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.

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