A few weeks ago, in ‘Micros are Major,’ I discussed the importance of getting plenty of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in order to ensure you’re setting yourself up for the most nourishing diet possible. Micronutrients, or ‘micros,’ are often found in vegetables and fruits. But, what if you don’t like vegetables? Or fruits? What if you turn green over any food that’s leafy and green?
That’s okay! Many of us simply don’t enjoy the bitter taste of vegetables. Vegetables are naturally bitter-tasting, which is often a HUGE turn-off when it comes to cuisine. To encourage you to eat more fruits and veggies, it’s best to find a simple method to prepare them, but there may also need to be a way to enhance the flavors for you to actually enjoy eating them. For example, I can’t stand eating boiled or steamed Brussels sprouts, but I LOVE eating them roasted and crispy from the oven. You have to find an enjoyable way to eat them, because you’re not going to eat something you don’t enjoy!
If you want a great resource on ways you can prep and enjoy your vegetables, check out this infographic — it’s all about finding the best way you can make yourself eat your veggies! Sometimes you simply need to trick your adult brain into being a toddler again and “‘hide” the veggies in your recipes if you’re feeling extra creative. For example, smashed peas can be added to your avocado toast, with a dash of seas salt. (Don’t knock it until you try it!)
If your creativity is dead and you find you still can’t make yourself eat enough fruits and vegetables, then this is where supplements become useful, especially a type of supplement that is increasing in popularity recently: greens supplements.
Greens supplements are made of whole food sources (such as vegetables, fruits, algae, and/or grasses) that are pulverized and reduced into a powder form, making them much easier to consume if you don’t like eating leafy greens. Greens supplements are an excellent resource for when a diet is low in fruits and vegetables and could therefore also be lacking in micros. If you’re consuming 5 or more servings of vegetables and/or fruits each day, you’re most likely getting ample micros in your diet — but not many people eat that many servings each day, putting us within a spectrum of micronutrient deficiency.
These deficiencies may not show-up clinically (or be asymptomatic), but that doesn’t mean that this type of low-grade micronutrient deficiency isn’t affecting your health. To learn more about greens supplements, I recommend reading this great resource from Precision Nutrition that really dives into the details.
One of the only downsides to adding greens supplements to your diet is that they are often used as a vegetable and fruit replacement for many who use them. They aren’t meant to act as an absolute substitute to eating your micros! When you replace vegetables and fruits in your diet, this can lead to a sense of increased hunger depending on what else you eat throughout your day, primarily because vegetables (especially the leafy green variety) can leave you feeling much more satisfied for a longer period of time than a more calorie-dense food because they’re higher in volume while also being lower in calories.
When you’re attempting to lose weight, for example, eating higher-volume and lower-calorie foods like leafy green vegetables can help keep you feeling nice and full for longer periods of time after your meals. This generally leads to you feeling less cranky (or “hangry” as I like to call it) and enjoying life a bit more (as well as being more successful with your weight loss). Yes, “hangry” is a scientific term.
Greens supplements aren’t meant to act as an absolute substitute to eating your micros!
If you search for greens supplements, you will find TONS of brands to choose from, so how do you know which one to use? You’re in luck. For great information on the best greens supplements to use, depending on your needs, check out Barbend.com’s recent Best Green Superfood Powder Drinks review: https://barbend.com/best-green-superfood-supplement-drinks-reviews/. In this review, they taste test and review several green superfood supplements to try to help you make the best decision without spending a ton of money sampling all of these. (They know what they’re talking about because they even demystify the faulty opinion that your liver needs “detoxifiers” to help it — thank you, Barbend!)
Another great source of reviews for greens powders and supplements can be found at https://www.jenreviews.com/best-greens-powder/. In this review, they list a variety of brands and purposes for each supplement to better help you understand which one would be of greater benefit to you.
In summary, try to eat a serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal. Next, find a way to prepare and/or cook your fruits and vegetables that makes them taste good to you so you can eat more of them. Sneak them into your foods if you have to trick yourself! If you’re still not getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet, then try to find a brand of greens supplement that you enjoy and incorporate it into your diet.
How do you eat more vegetables? Do you have a sneaky way of convincing yourself to eat more greens? If so, please share your ideas in the comments below so we can help more people get more micros in their life. Sharing is caring, right?
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
Interested in learning more about flexible eating and how to fit in more fruits and veggies? Comment below or email me, and I’d be more than happy to help you make sense of it all.
If you’re interested in having your macronutrients personally calculated for you to meet your goals, or having a customized nutrition plan built just for you and paired with attentive coaching, then check-out my Services page first to see what I offer. Message me and we can arrange a time to chat for a free consultation.