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Fruits and vegetables are key pieces of a healthy diet, but many adults still don't get enough. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat the daily recommended amount of fruits. And fewer than 1 in 10 get the appropriate amount of vegetables. This data is disappointing because fruits and vegetables can help to lower the risk of many health conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. When it comes to senior nutrition, eating fruits and vegetables is extra important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here are four easy ways to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet:
1. Breakfast toppings
Fruit makes an excellent topping for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles and Greek yogurt. When you're craving something sweet in the morning, skip sugary things like donuts and syrup and grab a handful of blueberries, strawberries or banana slices instead.
2. Hamburger garnishes
The University of Nebraska suggested adding some flavor to your next hamburger by putting some roasted green peppers on top of the patty.Tomatoes and onions make great additions too.
3. Pasta combos
Spaghetti is an easy dinner for those evenings when you don't want to go to a lot of trouble for a good meal. Stir in some baby spinach leaves and fresh tomatoes to make this dish healthier and better tasting.
Skip the mozzarella sticks and order a salad for an appetizer the next time you dine out. This is one way the University of Michigan suggested to increase your veggie intake. Another way is to snack on baby carrots with a low-fat dressing when you're feeling peckish between meals.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet will contribute to a healthier lifestyle, and it may make your favorite dishes come to life.