(NBC News) — Studies have shown that eating more veggies may lower your risk for several diseases including cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Vegetables may be one of the most neglected food groups.
A 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that only nine-percent of adults ate the recommended two to three cups of vegetables per day.
Registered dietitian Izzy Smith advises her clients to start small.
“I’m not asking everybody to have a salad. You can have what you normally have, just try to add a vegetable as a side and that will go a long way in increasing your vegetable intake,” she says.
That means baby steps, like baby carrots with ranch dip for a snack.
“If you’re not eating any vegetables, try to get up to a cup a day and try to take slow steps until you reach where you want to be,” Smith advises.
She also says frozen vegetables may sometimes be healthier than fresh.
“By the time it is in the fresh section at your grocery store, it’s been picked a while ago. Where as frozen vegetables are picked, cooked, and blanched and frozen,” Smith explains.
If you don’t know how to cook your vegetables, roasting may be a good option, or you could also blend some vegetables with your favorite fruit and make a smoothie.