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Five tips to eat more vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, micronutrients essential for health that perform many functions in the body. Vitamin C, which is found in strawberries, broccoli or romaine lettuce, contributes to the absorption of iron from plant sources, to gum health, to the healing of wounds, to the production of certain tissues, to blood formation and regeneration and could possibly reduce the risk of developing certain cancers thanks to its antioxidant properties. As for fiber, it helps lower cholesterol levels and some studies find that it can help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Canada's Food Guide, vegetables and fruit should fill half the plate. This may seem like a significant amount to many people. Here are five tips to achieve this.

1.    Prepare vegetables and fruit as soon as you get home from grocery shopping

The time it takes to prepare vegetables and fruit can reduce your will to eat them, especially when you are tired or short on time. By washing and cutting vegetables and fruit ahead of time, they will be ready to use and all you have to do is eat them as is or incorporate them in a recipe. 

2.    Keep vegetables and fruit in plain sight in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter

The foods you see are the foods you tend to eat first. Keep your vegetables and fruits in plain sight in your refrigerator or make a nice still life on your kitchen counter!

3.    Incorporate vegetables and fruit to every meal or as a snack

Plan your meals by choosing vegetables and fruits first, then complete with a source of starches and a source of protein. Fruits are also perfect for dessert or as a snack.

4.    Discover new foods

Dare to experiment! It’s easy to get bored if you always eat the same vegetables and fruits. In Quebec, there is a great variety to try from! So, treat yourself to some new foods on your next trip to the grocery store.

5.    Learn to cook vegetables and fruits

Consider using herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of vegetables and fruits. Herbs and spices can help you enhance the taste of vegetables and fruits. Also remember that you can cook vegetables using different cooking methods: steaming, grilling, roasting, sautéing, braising, marinating, the possibilities are endless. Often the secret lies in how you season and cook them!

6.    Bonus tip

The ideal would be to consume seasonal and local vegetables and fruits. Today there are many ways to get those produce. For example, by visiting public markets, subscribing to a basket of vegetables and fruits or even by going directly to the farm to visit and support our farmers. In this way, you contribute to your health, the local economy and you reduce your environmental footprint. Many good reasons to eat more vegetables and fruits!



Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist

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