5 Tips for Getting More Greens Into Your Diet

Have you embarked on a journey toward health for the new year? Are you working on a diet to lean down or bulk up? Or have you decided to prioritize your health and make lifestyle changes? Whatever your reason, finding ways to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet can help you live a happier, healthier life. 

5 Tips for Getting More Greens Into Your Diet

It can be challenging to get in enough vegetables or find ways to enjoy your greens. If you’re looking to up your nutrient intake without sacrificing taste, there are lots of options for you. You can have your favorite foods with a bit of a modification for great taste while making it healthier. Keep reading for tips for getting more greens into your diet.

1. Kickoff the Day With a Smoothie

How you start the day can set the tone of what’s to come. It can also help you begin the day with stabilizing your blood sugar levels. One way to hit the ground running with your nutrient and greens goals is to start the day with a smoothie. It also is easy to take with you on the go — there’s no excuse to say you don’t have time.

You can create this smoothie based on your taste and goals. Pick your liquid in the form of milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. You could even use pineapple or orange juice instead. If you want a green smoothie or a fruit smoothie, decide that as well. Add in your green drink mix or protein powder for extra health benefits. 

2. Incorporate Greens into Your Breakfast

You’ve likely heard the old adage, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ While all meals are important, there is some validity to this sentiment. Like the smoothie idea above, starting the day on the right foot helps keep your healthy mindset throughout the day. A good breakfast also helps you feel satiated going into lunch, so you’re less likely to overeat at lunch.

There are several ways you can incorporate greens into your breakfast too. A few easy ways come through eggs, omelets, breakfast burritos, and hashbrowns. You can add spinach into your scrambled eggs or omelets. Sauteed peppers and onions can be delicious in your breakfast burritos or tucked into an omelet. Adding them to some hashbrowns can get you a southwest flavor that is tasty too.

3. Slip Greens into Your Sauces and Dips

You might have heard you can swap sour cream for Greek yogurt to make your sauces or dips to make them healthier. In a similar fashion, you can add in greens to up the health factor. If you like vegetables, you can add even more. If you or your family does not, there are ways to sneak them in. Spinach, for example, is a great green that packs big health benefits, but it can be hard to detect taste wise.

You can dice spinach finely or pulse in your food processor to add to pasta sauces. You can also slip it into a loaded baked potato dip or homemade french onion dip. Homemade tomato salsas or corn and bean salsas are a good place to slip in other greens too. Chilis, green peppers, and poblanos work well here.

4. Load Up Your Salads

You’ve likely been to a restaurant and gotten a side salad that just has lettuce, croutons, cheese, and ranch. That can be a little better than cheese fries, but it doesn’t add much when it comes to nutritional value. Instead, try to load up your salad with a variety of other veggies. Tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli are all great additions. 

The more variety you add to your salad, the more nutrient dense it becomes. It can all start with how you build your base too. Kale or spinach can be added to or swapped for iceberg lettuce. You could even dice broccoli or sprouts to make that as your base. Look at your dressings too — homemade dressing or vinaigrettes can save you calories and add nutrients. If you struggle with the textures of too many veggies in a salad, try chopping them up really small. It makes it easier to eat. You can even try it with chips.

5. Swap in Greens When Cooking and Baking

When cooking you can swap out traditional grains for greens. Instead of eating your chicken teriyaki over white rice, use a bed of spinach or broccoli rice. You could make stir fry with broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers and spinach and serve your protein and sauce over it too. Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are also great swaps for grains and noodles.

Baking with greens is also a possibility to lower calories and add in greens. You’ve heard of carrot cake. Did you know Zucchini is great in chocolate cake? It can also be used for zucchini bread, brownies, and pancakes, as well as lemon zucchini muffins. Sweet potatoes can help make healthier brownies too!

Bonus Tip: Grow Your Own Greens

For the freshest ingredients at your fingertips, try growing your own at home. Spinach and herbs can easily be started in the backyard or on your windowsill. Fresh herbs can save you money, reduce waste, and have a wonderful taste. You won’t be able to compare fresh basil to your dried seasoning. It might even encourage you to cook more at home. 

As you can see, there are small changes you can make to add more greens to your diet. You don’t even have to change what you’re eating — just change a few ingredients. These small changes add up to huge health benefits over the course of a year and your life. Try out a few of these tips and start upping your veggie intake today!