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Welcome to the second post in this Clean Eating series. I hope you all drank plenty of water yesterday and are working to adopt the habit of water consumption. One of the tips I gave for getting more water into your system was to eat more raw fruits and vegetables which have a high water volume. Today we are going to be talking more about the importance of putting more produce in your diet.
- Potassium: This fantastic micronutrient can help reduce blood pressure, lower your risk of developing kidney stones, and decrease bone loss. Potassium can be found in sweet potatoes, soybeans, and spinach.
- Fiber: Fiber can be found in pretty much all whole fruits and vegetables. It is great for bowel function but also helps to keep you fuller longer with fewer calories than a cheeseburger.
- Folate: Folic acid is vital to the formation of red blood cells, you know the oxygen highways of the body. You need those. You can find it in avocados, broccoli, and lentils.
- Vitamin A: This is a beauty nutrient. It is great for skin and eyes. Carrots, apricots, and liver have high amounts of vitamin A.
- Vitamin C: We know vitamin C is found in orange juice which is delicious. It helps to heal wounds quicker, aids in iron absorption, and can foster healthy teeth and gums. Strawberries, sweet peppers, and kiwi have tons of vitamin C.
There are so many different micronutrients the body uses to function optimally. A well balanced, clean, diverse, and colorful plate at every meal can do wonders for your overall health. Now that you know how good all these things are for you, here are a few tips to help you get into the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables.
- Have smoothies: This was the game changer for me. Having a fruit smoothie after a workout helped me get my day started, gave me plenty of energy, and can curb a caffeine addiction. Pumping all those micros through the body is great! But do it early and within 30 minutes of a good workout. All that fruit is a lot carbs and sugar so consume with wisdom.
- Snacks: One thing you’ll probably notice in our meal plan, is all the fruits and vegetables for snacks. The fiber is great for keeping you full and the natural sugars are good for energy.
- Shop twice per week: If your schedule and geographic location allow, take a midweek grocery trip I found this super helpful for things like bananas and avocados which can go bad quickly.
- Fill with veg: Being a midwest girl, I was raised to center my meals around the protein (usually some kind of beef), some carbs, and a bit of green. I recommend you think of your veg first, then the protein, then the carbs at lunch. If weight loss is your goal, I recommend not eating carbs after 6:00pm. But I’ll talk more about why and how to do that in the Clean Eating Challenge.
- Go meatless: Have meatless meals and meatless days planned into your meal plan each week. This will push you to consume more fruits and vegetables to remain satiated and energized.
Here’s the thing, you need plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to be healthy. Your food should be pretty, full of fun colors and textures. But that shouldn’t be from artificial colors and chemicals.
In the comments below, let me know what some of your favorite fruits and vegetables are. If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting, subscribing, sharing on social media, and making a contribution to my Patreon.
Thank you, have a sparkly day!