Nutrient dense foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are low in calories, cholesterol, and fat. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Simple consumption of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables contribute to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle and plays an important role in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.
It is important to get vitamins and minerals through food so that the body is able to absorb them naturally and correctly. They also provide us with antioxidants that work to reduce inflammation in the body. When you include a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily food consumption, you also help reduce cravings. The fiber and good carbs help keep you fuller, longer. Which results in you eating less junk.
It is easier than one might expect to incorporate large quantities of fruits and vegetables into our daily diet.
Here are some trendy, healthy and delicious recipe ideas utilizing fruits and vegetables.
Zucchini Linguine has recently gained popularity and is a great alternative to eating regular high carb spaghetti.
To make zucchini linguine, wash your fresh zucchinis and cut both ends, keeping the skin on for added fiber. Cut your zucchini into thin slices, and then cut each slice into thin strips that resemble linguine pasta. Boil your zucchini in water for a couple of minutes, and season with a little salt and pepper for taste. Serve it with your favorite low-carb sauce.
Also try zucchini mushroom linguine and garlic roasted shrimp zucchini linguine
Cauliflower Rice has also recently gained popularity and is a great alternative to eating regular high carb rice.
To make cauliflower rice, cut fresh cauliflower into small pieces and then blend it in a food processor until it looks like the size of rice. The cauliflower rice can then be added to a pan and lightly cooked such as in a stir-fry. The cauliflower will soak up any spices that are added and will change color.
*Also try mushroom cauliflower rice and cauliflower fried rice (with added protein- chicken or shrimp) **
Kale Chips are an easy, healthy snack to make.
To make kale chips, remove the leaves from the thick stems of fresh kale and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges brown.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries are a great side dish or snack and are a great alternative to regular French fries.
To make sweet potato fries, peel fresh sweet potatoes and cut them into strips so that they resemble fries. Sprinkle the fries with olive oil and season them with a little salt, pepper, and spices. Bake them at 425°F for approximately 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Bake until the edges are slightly brown and crisp.
Baked Apples are a great healthy treat that quenches the craving for dessert.
To make a baked apple, either scoop out the core from the top of the apple or cut the apple into cubes. Place about 1 tsp. of raisins, ½ tsp. of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg in the center of the apple or sprinkle on top of cubed apples. For best results, bake at 350°F for approximately 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave them for about 2 minutes.