Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Upgrade Your Fruits and Veggies

We all tend to get a bit, let’s say comfortable, with our choices when it comes to our food – particularly fresh produce. We get used to frequenting the same stores, even the same sections of stores. It’s easier, but is it better? Let’s explore some of the advantages of getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to fruits and veggies, and offer some easy suggestions.

Different Flavors

When you test out different foods, you access different flavors, which in turn can help tell your brain that you are full, and happy. If you find that you are eating “more” of the same foods, changing up the food you eat can help improve your feelings of satiation and happiness.

Different Nutrients

Even if you stick with the same food, such as potatoes or bananas, choosing a different variety of that same food can provide your body with a wider range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. For example, switching from white potatoes to sweet potatoes can provide your body with three times as many nutrients.

What to Choose?

There're no “rules” to trying out different fruits and vegetables, but you do want to pick produce that is fresh and stick to bright colors or dark greens for more nutrients. Here are some suggestions:

If you like… Try…

  • Kale Collards Spinach (cooked)
  • Bok Choy Spinach (fresh)
  • Watercress/Arugula Carrots
  • Purple/Yellow Carrot, Parsnip Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe Peas (Green)
  • Snap/Snow Peas Tomatoes
  • Cherry/Grape/Pear Tomatoes Bell Peppers
  • Cubanelle Peppers (sweet) Zucchini
  • Yellow Zucchini, Summer
  • Squash White Cauliflower
  • Purple/Orange Cauliflower Cabbage
  • Napa Cabbage White/Russet Potatoes
  • sweet Potatoes Iceberg Lettuce
  • Celery root or Rutabaga Grapefruit
  • Clementine/Kumquat Oranges
  • Blood Orange/Tangerine Bananas (Yellow)
  • Red Bananas Pears (Bartlett)
  • Asian Pears Apples (McIntosh, Granny Smith)
  • Braeburn, Cortland, Ginger Gold Apples Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew Peach (Yellow)Plums

Something Else to Consider

We really underestimate how much extra nutrients are contained in fresh herbs and spices – so while you’re checking out some new varieties of fruit and vegetables, consider picking up some herbs and spices as well. Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro add flavor to dishes, but also add valuable minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients. You can also check out a whole range of new-to-you herbs and spices at your local market, or start growing your own! Keep trying new things, it’s what makes food so fun – there’s always something new out there for you to try, love, and include in your meal planning going forward