If you’re wanting to drop a few kilograms and boost your healthy lifestyle, then fruit and vegetables are an absolute essential for an effective diet.
You cannot live off ‘health shakes’ and protein bars for the rest of your life. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to ensure that your new diet can become your new lifestyle – something that is long-lasting, effective, healthy, and makes you feel good inside and out.
However, it’s not just about what you’re eating, but also how you’re cooking it. The method of cooking can contribute towards the overall calorie count of the meal as well as the nutritional value.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your fruit and veg:
1. Eat your fruits fresh
Fresh fruit is an amazingly powerful meal or snack. It’s high in vitamins, nutrients, energy and fibre while being low in ‘junk’ calories.
Fresh fruit is also much cheaper than something like a sandwich. Just don’t kid yourself – a fruit smoothie or a fruit juice is not the same as fresh fruit. The drink version will have almost none of the fibre, many more calories and lots of added sugar.
2. Cook your carrots
Carrots contain carotenoids which are very good for various things including eye-health and reducing the risk of certain cancers.
Fresh carrots are still good for you, but the heat from cooking carrots has been shown to increase your body’s ability to use the carotenoids, making cooked carrots that much better.
Roast them in a stew, steam baby carrots, or chop them up and roast together with some mixed veg with a splash of olive oil, rosemary and salt.
3. Pressure cook your mushrooms
Mushrooms are a fantastic food to eat due to their unique taste and texture, and also their low-calorie health benefits including fibre and antioxidants.
You can eat mushrooms raw, but steaming them in a pressure cooker has been shown to increase the number of antioxidants they contain. You can make an excellent mushroom soup this way, or use a pressure cooker to make a mushroom and beef stew. Perfect for the cooler winter weather.
4. Bake your sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre, vitamins A and C, calcium and magnesium. Plus, they taste great!
How you cook sweet potatoes does make a difference to their starch and sugar content though. The best method is to bake them with some onions in a little coconut oil and salt, and serve with the skin on like you would a normal potato.
5. Steam your broccoli
Raw broccoli is a fabulous green veggie that is one of the healthiest vegetables out there.
Unfortunately most people don’t enjoy the slightly bitter taste and crunch of raw broccoli. If you’re one of these people, then you will get the most benefit from steaming it. It’ll take away the bitterness without destroying any of the goodness.
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