A healthy, balanced diet is a crucial component of overall wellness and leading an active lifestyle. At any age, what we fuel our bodies with determines how we feel, look, and function on a daily basis but nutrition recommendations and needs change with age.
As we grow older, our bodies go through a multitude of changes, resulting in the need for nutrition adjustments. A healthy diet promotes healthy aging and can help to reduce the risk of individuals developing conditions like hypertension or heart disease.
Fruits and vegetables are a staple of a well-balanced diet. For individuals 51 years of age and over, Canada’s Food Guide recommends consuming seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
While this may seem like a lot (especially for picky eaters), it can be surprisingly easy to sneak more of these healthy foods into your diet! Origin Active Lifestyle Communities are located throughout Canada, and we know how powerful food can be. We want to share easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your diet to help you continue to lead and maintain an active lifestyle.
1. Mix Vegetables into Your Favourite Dishes
An easy way to sneak more vegetables into your diet is to add them to a dish you already love. Try adding broccoli florets to macaroni and cheese or tomatoes or bell peppers on top of your pizza.
Origin Tip: You can even purée vegetables and add them to a sauce or slip additional vegetables into an omelet!
2. Get Creative With Seasonings
Many individuals simply do not like the taste of certain vegetables. Having fun in the kitchen and adding seasonings to vegetable dishes can enhance their flavours. Dill, garlic, citrus, and rosemary are common seasoning choices that go great with a variety of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Origin Tip: While there are different ways to cook vegetables, steaming them retains the nutrients and softens them. Quick and easy!
3. Try Smoothies
Smoothies are a popular way to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your diet. There are so many recipes available that it makes it nearly impossible not to find one you like. Whether it is the taste or the texture that you do not like about a vegetable, this problem can be solved when blending them into a smoothie.
When you load a smoothie with your favourite fruits, you will rarely even taste the vegetables. Vegetables that are easy to add and blend into a smoothie (and promote healthy aging!) include spinach, kale, avocado, and beets.
4. Make Fruits and Vegetables Easily Accessible
When you want to grab a snack, most people want something that is grab-and-go. Buying fresh produce is great, but there is more prep work involved – cleaning, peeling, dicing, etc.
Cleaning and cutting up fruits and vegetables ahead of time can encourage you to make more healthy-conscious snacking decisions. If you go to the fridge and find a ready-to-eat container of your favourite fruits or vegetables, you may be more inclined to choose that option.
Origin Tip: If you want to skip the prep work all together, many stores now carry pre-cut fruit cups and vegetables - making it an easy grab-and-go snack!
5. Display Your Produce
If you are not big on fruits or vegetables, it is safe to say that they are probably out of sight and out of mind. But, if you see these foods every time you enter the kitchen, you may be more likely to eat them.
Whenever you buy produce, display it in a bowl on your table or counter. This way, when you want a snack, you can easily grab a banana, apple, or orange.
Fruits and vegetables play a significant role in healthy aging and can enhance an individual ability to lead an active lifestyle. Eating these foods does not have to be bland or boring, and Origin Active Lifestyle Communities are committed to proving that through our chef-prepared meals and dining experience.
We invite you to contact a member of our team to learn more about our services and communities throughout Canada!