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Trying to eat more veg to improve health - how much is enough?(9 Posts)
I need to improve my health generally and one thing is I really need to eat more veg as I eat hardly any at the moment, one potion a day probably but on some days possibly none at all. I'm going to make the effort to actually eat more portions but am wondering if I have enough of a range of a veg in the first place.
The veg I like is peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, cucumber, and onions (red/white/spring). Also like tomatoes but only if they're cooked into a sauce. I'm not keen on parsnips or swedes but could eat them if it'd make a difference iyswim.
I can't stand spinach, aubergine, mushrooms, cabbage, sprouts and anything else strong/bitter as I seem to taste nothing but the bitterness. But these are the ones people usually rave about as being so good for you. Am I eating a wide enough range to get all the vits/minerals etc if I do actually eat more of them or is there specific veg I need to add to cover all the bases? I also can't stand beans/pulses so can't use them to 'substitute'.
Well the recommendation is seven portions of fruit and veg per day, with no more than two of those portions being fruit. So that leaves you with five portions of veg. Do you like vegetable soup? That's a really easy way to get your five veggies a day and with it all being liquidised you might find you can sneak a few things in that are healthy without really tasting them.
You can make a basic soup with: onion, celery, carrot, potato, veg stock and seasoning. If you like butternut squash and sweet potato you could also add that to make it a bit more interesting, filling and nutritious. None of those veggies has a strong or bitter flavour, but together they make a tasty soup and a big bowl of that would be your five veggies for the day!
Other than that, you could make a salad and get three or so of your five a day from that. Or you could have peas/carrrots/broccoli/beans, etc with alongside meat or fish.
Another idea might be to make a salade nicoise, which contains green beans. Do you like olives? You could leave them out, if not.
Vegetable soup would be good, could easily fit that in for lunch at work. I don't like olives but will look up salade nicoise. My main concern is if I'm missing out some huge nutrients you can only get from spinach etc but eating some more veg would at least be a good start.
Just googled the salade nicoise and I don't like tuna, eggs (if not cooked into something), anchovies or raw tomatoes - bit of a fussy fecker
You can add in extra veg to soups and sauces.
I'm like you in that I don't like raw tomatoes (so find shop salads a bit poor) but cooked ones are great.
Try mashing cauliflower as an alternative to potatoes, add in spices and a sprinkle of grated cheese and some garlic powder. That's lovely!
The mixed vegetable 'couscous' I've found in the prepped veg section of my local tesco is lovely and I have that with heck chicken sausages and gravy.
Butternut squash, courgette and carrot can all be spiralised like spaghetti as well as bought ready.
Veg can be a bit meh sometimes, but add in some sauces (not too sugary) and there's plenty you can do.
I add in butternut squash to curries and courgette too.
Stir fry is the best for upping your count! Use some low salt say sauce for flavour.
Also, juicing! As one poster said, go for 80% veg and 20% fruit.
Or you can buy greens powders that give you a dose of greeny goodness in a protein shake or orange juice etc.
Have you tried a soup made with potato, spinach, onion, garlic, bouillon and a few more things? It is not even slightly bitter, but creamy and delicious.
I doubt you are missing any important nutrient completely, but you might have more fun with food if you learn to like more things. You could try the advice for picky kids: take a tiny taste, or even a lick, on 20 or more different occasions. Also, remember there is a massive difference between spinach blended in a soup, baby spinach in a raw salad, spinach in sushi, a spinach omelette, spinach in a stir fry, etc.
Juice or soup is only one portion as the fibre level is low and if you have juice at breakfast and soup for lunch only one of them counts. I think sauce is same.
Add fruit to cereal for breakfast
Soup + crudités n dip for lunch (cucumber, peppers, carrots)
Broccoli and cauliflower mash/rice at dinner.
Another portion of fruit in the evening for a snack.
That's 6 portions
Yes if you have a veggie stir fry could easily make it 7 (beansprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, peppers, broccoli)
Or spiralised 'spaghetti' plus veggies in a pasta sauce.
Spinach isn't that much different to any dark green leafy veg. If you don't eat a lot now I'd keep it simple. Use my fitness pal and log what you eat for a few weeks as it will tell you what percentage of vitamins you've had that day and fibre ect.
Spinach isn't bitter for my taste buds so there's no point recommending food to you. I like it in salads, soups, curries, stir fries and I make a bloody lush cheese and potato pie with sautéed onions and spinach mixed up in it.
Just a note on spinach. You can add it to smoothies and you won't be able to taste it. Even my fussy DS1 will eat it if I blitz it up with banana, apple, yogurt, etc. It just makes it green!
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