Written by Janette Mason, CNP
Growing up, we were always told to eat our vegetables. Ingrained in our minds from an early age, yet how many adults do you think actually eat enough of the green stuff?
Well, according to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables.1 1 in 10! Think about you in relation to others in your family, do you tend to eat more or less plants than them? Chances are, even if you are the one who typically eats more plants – you are probably still not eating enough.
Now, “enough” is a subjective term and we know that as humans we are all unique and have unique needs. With the plethora of research citing a thousand-and-one reasons we should be eating a variety of fruit and veg throughout the day, it’s not unreasonable to assume the average person would benefit from an increase in their intake.
Canada’s most recent changes to the food guide include an increase in fruit and vegetable recommendations.2 Researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph found over 52% of consumers surveyed said they face barriers in adopting the guide's recommendations. 3 Problems include taste preferences, lack of free time, dietary and cultural restrictions, and a lack of availability in their area. 3 With much of our country buried under snow for at least ¼ of a year, access to fresh, local produce is not possible year-round. 3 It is also the harsh reality that fruit and vegetable prices are increasing faster than the price of meats.3
So, what do we do? As a nutritionist, I always try to look for solutions to support someone with their long-term goals, in a way that will actually be sustainable for them.
Enter – functional superfoods. Functional superfoods can be found in whole foods as well as in powders, juices, bars, that are formulated with high-dose beneficial ingredients like greens, herbal extracts, plant oils, and more to help someone increase their intake of necessary nutrients in a small, easy-to-take package. Introducing functional superfoods into someone’s daily routine can be of great benefit.
One such functional superfood that I have been recommending for years is VegeGreens by Progressive. The Health Canada approved claims associated with this product include: source of antioxidants and helps to support liver function.4
While VegeGreens comes in a myriad of delicious flavours, one of my favourite ways to use it is in my spicy mermaid hummus! You can pair this hummus with your favourite raw veg and up-the-ante of goodness even more! Here's how to make it:
- 1 can rinsed chickpeas
- 1.5 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chipotle spice
- 1 scoop unflavoured VegeGreens
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (more if you like a thinner dip)
- Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend well until smooth!
- You can keep sealed in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables. Accessed May 8, 2021 at: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html
- Government of Canada. Canada's Food Guide. Accessed May 14, 2021 at: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
- CBC/Radio Canada. More than half of Canadians may have trouble adopting new food guide, survey suggests | CBC News. Accessed May 8, 2021 at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-food-guide-survey-half-of-canadians-face-barriers-1.5056251
- Health Canada. Product Information: Progressive Vegegreens. Accessed May 8, 2021 at: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80034973