We all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables.
They contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases.
Sometimes it can be hard to find ways to incorporate the recommended two cups of fruit and two-and-a-half cups of vegetables into our diet.
The American Dietetic Association has developed a list of 20 ways to enjoy more fruits and vegetables:
1. Use fresh vegetables as pizza toppings. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
2. Make a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
4. Substitute crunchy vegetables for chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
6. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.
7. Have cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, or lunch box additions. Some favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.
8. Make sure colorful fruit is available where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit on the kitchen or dining table. 9. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry.
10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Try adding broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
11. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.
12. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal or yogurt. 13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.
15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.
16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.
18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans). Top with low-fat dressing.
19. Make fruit kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.
20. “Dip” into vegetables: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt or graham crackers in applesauce.