Nutrition can be pretty complicated – Omega-3’s, macronutrients, fat loss, metabolism, probiotics, prebiotics, magnesium, selenium, meal replacements, just to name a few of the terms thrown around when talk turns to diets, food and nutrition. While nutrition may seem complicated, it can also be relatively simple, once you know and focus on a few basics. This is why we have created the Lean Cuisine range to focus on the principles of Simple. Balanced. Nutrition, so that healthy eating can be made easy. And there is no easier way to help balance your nutritional intake by focusing on getting enough veggies in your diet every single day.
At a minimum it is recommended that Australians consume 5 serves, or 2 ½ cups of low calorie, brightly coloured vegetables each day. While this may not seem like a lot, the reality is that fewer than 1 in 10 Aussies achieve their daily recommended intake of vegetables. It is also important to remember that this is the minimum number of serves of vegetables that we need for health. For optimal health, aiming for closer to 7-10 serves of fresh fruit and vegetables should be the target.
In food terms this means that ideally, we need a couple of pieces of fruit as well as 2-3 cups of salad or vegetables at two of our meals every single day.
Nutritionally vegetables are low in calories, high in dietary fibre and rich sources of a range of vitamins and minerals including anti-oxidants that play a powerful anticancer role in the body. In general, the brighter the colour of the vegetables, the higher the nutrient content and aiming for a range of different colours vegetables each day ticks the box on a range of different nutrients.
The easiest way to increase your daily intake of veggies, and reap numerous health benefits as a result is to make sure you include at least 1-2 vegetables at each meal. Think spinach or mushrooms with your morning eggs, or a green juice or smoothie enjoyed with breakfast. Add in a salad or soup at lunchtime to help fill you up and give you at least a couple of low-calorie vegetable serves. Then, at dinner aim for at least 3-4 different coloured vegetables to enjoy with your evening meal and feel free to make them taste good in a stir fry; roasted with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or even baked in a sauce as the better they taste the more you will eat.
When you are grabbing meals on the go, it can be tricky to make sure you get enough vegetable bulk to complete the meal. Where you can order extra salad or vegetable sides to bulk up your intake, or look for quick and easy options like the new Lean Cuisine range which offers 2 vegetable serves per pack. Here convenient meals do not have to mean that your nutrition is compromised.