• Aliena (Ali) Davis, DC

Blue Zones Power 9: Plant Slant

“Put more fruits and vegetables on your plate,” - every parent ever, right? Well, grownups, time to follow your own advice because as it turns out, eating fruits and veggies really is important for your health, according to the Blue Zones Project Fort Worth. Fresh fruits and veggies provide fiber, vitamin C, electrolytes, and even calcium.

Looking for easy ways to increase your consumption of produce? Look no further.

  1. Add fruits to dessert. Got an unshakeable sweet tooth? Take it one step at a time. If you enjoy a nightly scoop of ice cream, add some fruit to it…slices of banana, diced strawberries, or even frozen blueberries…it’ll be delicious and doesn’t require you to give up something you enjoy to make a healthy change.

  2. Substitute fruit juice for one soda every day. Fruit juices are still high in sugar, like sodas, however, they at least provide you with some vitamins as well. If you typically drink 3 sodas per day, swap one of those for a fresh-squeezed orange juice, a glass of organic apple cider, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try a green drink!

  3. Substitute veggies for pasta. Zoodles. Spaghetti squash. Veggie-infused pasta. The possibilities are endless! Pick one and make it a goal to try it this week.

  4. Sneaky veggies. Making pasta for dinner? Sautee some spinach and toss it with the pasta. Making homemade pizza? Put fresh spinach on as a topping. Soup? Kale, cabbage, zucchini, corn, and even ripe tomatoes make excellent additions - increasing the flavor and nutrition while providing interesting textures.

  5. Breakfast shakes. If you don’t typically like to eat breakfast, you can easily incorporate these into your morning routine because they are able to be prepped the night before. The easy formula for a delicious and nutritious morning smoothie is as follows: Milk or milk substitute + 2 Fruits + 1 veggie + 1 Protein source + 1 optional extra. Example: Coconut milk + handful of blueberries + ripe banana + handful of spinach + scoop of dairy free protein powder + tablespoon of flax seeds. Blend thoroughly. Pour into shaker bottle. Store in the fridge to drink in the morning.


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