This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
A minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies a day is the standard recommendation for a health promoting diet. For many people, even getting 5-a-day is a challenge. Here are some simple ways to combine a variety of these foods in a single meal or smoothie.
Incorporate several of these into your weekly menus and soon you won’t even have to think about counting servings.
Don’t be surprised if you lose weight as you switch from more calorie-dense foods to these high-fiber replacements.
1. Use left-over cooked veggies. To lettuce, add corn, green beans, broccoli, asparagus or whatever you have on hand. It’s a good way to clean up the refrigerator and have a meal-sized salad. (One serving is one cup of raw greens or ½ cup of cooked vegetables.)
2. Make soup. Start with minestrone or beef vegetable in mind, using chicken, beef or vegetable stock, adding fennel seed, celery seed, bay leaf, garlic, onions and tomatoes, and then, whatever veggies you have on hand that seem appealing.
3. Throw together a fruit salad. Try different combinations like cantaloupe and blueberries or apples, oranges and bananas. Add lemon juice and a little maple syrup to keep the fruit fresh and colorful. (One serving is ½ cup of chopped fruit.)
4. Have a vegetarian day once or twice a week. Dishes like veggie chili or a veggie frittata can make this a special day.
5. Make a smoothie. Mix in a superfoods supplement like Super Green Foods. These products concentrate the antioxidant power of foods like berries and leafy greens and make it easy to ensure that you are getting your 5-a-day. Use these supplements in addition to taking a comprehensive daily multivitamin.