Remember how Mom used to nag you to eat your fruits and vegetables? As much as we hate to admit it, Mom was right. The heart and soul of any well-balanced, nutritional meal involves a healthy serving of fruit, vegetables or both. At SkinSpirit, our medical weight loss program, REBALANCE has a golden rule, “If it didn’t come from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it.” One of the easiest ways to be healthy and lose weight is to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Know Your Fruits and Veggies
Before taking a walk around the produce section of the nearest grocery store, get familiar with the different types of fruits and vegetables that are available and learn about their healthy benefits to the body.
The Allium family of vegetables includes onions, leeks, chives, shallots and scallions. These foods stimulate the production of a strong antioxidant called glutathione, which helps protect your body from damaging free radicals
Berries, which include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, should always be bought organic. Berries tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. This fruit group contains anthocyanins and polyphenols, both of which are naturally occurring substances that help us lose weight and keep blood sugar low.
Cruciferous Vegetables, which include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage have strong cancer fighting properties and are high in fiber and low in calories.
When it comes to the dark green leafy vegetables, the darker the leaf, the better. This vegetable group includes spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, turnip greens, bok choy, radicchio, endive and other salad greens. It’s important to eat a variety of dark, green, leafy vegetables each day. Don’t be afraid to mix them up. Always wash them well before eating.
Shop for produce that’s in season, visit a Farmers Markets for a wide variety of local produce and buy organic whenever possible.
Eating fruits and vegetables are great for reducing the waistline. They are low in calories and fill you up quickly. Aim to eat at least four or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The easiest way to ensure that you eat enough fruits and vegetables is to include at least one serving with each meal and snack. With each meal, make it a goal to fill your plate with as many fruits, vegetables or a salad as possible.
Quick and Easy Tips
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be inconvenient or time consuming. Set aside an hour or two over the weekend to prepare for the upcoming week of healthy eating. Plan your week’s worth of meals, take a trip to the grocery store, prep your produce for easy consumption and prepare any meals for the upcoming week. The more preparation you do over the weekend, the easier it will be to grab for an already prepared healthy meal or snack during the week.
Add fresh, ready-to-eat vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, baby corn, baby carrots and sugar snap peas to your grocery list. These make quick, healthy snacks. They’re also an easy addition to any lunch. Make sure that you add a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables to your grocery list as well. When they’re packaged and kept correctly, frozen fruits and veggies can be even more nutritious than fresh fruit and vegetables.
Homemade vegetable soup is great to way to get your daily serving of veggies during the winter months. It also makes for easy, healthy meals during the week. Cook the soup in a large pot. With the leftover portions, freeze in smaller containers, either individual or per family meal. Then whenever you’re ready, reheat when needed.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you need a quick breakfast on the go, try blending a fruit smoothie. If you’re looking for an easy way to increase your fruit intake throughout the day, add fruit to any salad.
To learn more about the REBALANCE Metabolic Weight Loss Program and to schedule an appointment at any one of our three locations in REBALANCE Palo Alto, REBALANCE Walnut Creek or REBALANCE Mill Valley.
Disclaimer: Information and content within this blog is provided for informational purposes only. This blog is not intended to provide medical advice, and anything read here should not be construed as such. Reading this blog or communicating with our staff does not create a physician-patient relationship. If you have questions about any health issue, including something you may have read here, please consult a licensed, trained physician or health professional immediately.