Spring-veggies-350x122Health experts agree: Americans eat too many salty and high-sugar snacks, and too few fruits and vegetables. We particularly need to increase our intake of non-starchy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. These veggies deliver loads of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants with no sugar or salt and very few calories.

    A good practice is to aim for five to 10 or more servings of these veggies each day. You can achieve that by eating two or more servings at each meal. A serving portion consists of one-half cup cooked vegetable or one cup raw. Here are five strategies to pack more of these health-giving veggies into your diet:

    1. Sneak them into a breakfast shake.

    Have a protein shake in the morning, and spike it with a cup or organic kale or other greens. Add unsweetened coconut or frozen fruit, and you will never taste them.

    2. Have salad for dinner.

    Fill your plate with organic leafy greens and sliced avocado, top it with a grilled chicken breast or wild salmon, and drizzle on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an easy dinner.

    3. Enjoy homemade juice.

    Unlike commercial juices, juice made at home doesn’t have to include sugar and other additives. Use various veggies flavored with a little fruit and a splash of lemon, perhaps with a little ginger. Just remember that juicing strips fiber, so get that elsewhere.

    4. Double up.

    Instead of potatoes or rice, include two or three vegetables with the protein on your dinner plate.

    5. Make veggies your crunchy appetizer.

    Substitute some crunchy vegetables like broccoli or asparagus for chips and salsa. Serve them with hummus or guacamole.

    These simple strategies will pack more veggies into your diet, and they are particularly useful on very busy days, or when you travel.