11 of the Easiest Ways to Up Your Veggie Intake

Want to start eating a little healthier, but aren’t exactly sure what to focus on first?

"If there’s one ‘big-bang-for-your-buck’ change most people can make to their diet, it’s eating more vegetables,” says Kathleen Pezán, RD, registered dietitian and senior content writer at Hinge Health. “They’re loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that prevent disease.”

Even if you already enjoy eating vegetables, increasing your veggie intake can be an incredibly effective way to help prevent disease, promote healthy digestion, and “crowd out” other food choices that sap your energy (like sugary foods and processed carbs).

What’s more, adding vegetables to your diet can actually help reduce chronic pain by reducing inflammation.

It’s easy to shrug and say, “Sure, I’ll eat more vegetables.” But if you’re like most people, you might struggle to actually incorporate this into your daily routine.

So here are some of our favorite quick and easy ways to up your veggie intake.

  1. Start your day with vegetables. The options for adding veggies to your breakfast are endless. Add greens (like spinach and kale) or leftover cooked vegetables to scrambled eggs. Make a hash with cubed sweet potatoes and onions. Or try whole wheat toast with avocado, sliced tomato, and spinach.

  2. Drink up. A handful of greens are easily disguised in a smoothie and pack a nutritional punch. Try making a green smoothie with spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, beet greens, or bok choy, a cup of water or milk, and some of your favorite fruits.

  3. Display them. Stashing your veggies in your refrigerator drawers? Rethink the real estate. Place your vegetables front and center when you open the fridge so they are visible. If you keep them where you can see them, you’re more likely to eat them. This works great for veggies you can easily snack on, like baby carrots. And this brings us to…

  4. Snack on them. When you’re craving a quick snack, try munching on veggies like carrots, sliced cucumbers, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, or celery. Dip them in hummus or spread on some nut butter for a little protein and added flavor.

  5. Swap your spaghetti. Spiralize zucchini, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash at home for use in pasta dishes. Or look for pre-cut spiralized vegetables at your grocery store in the produce section.

  6. Replace your rice. Switch out rice for “cauliflower rice” in stir fry, taco bowls, and more. Look for this in the frozen food or produce section of the grocery store.

  7. Bulk up your soup. Soups are an excellent way to eat many different types of vegetables at once. Try adding more veggies than the recipe calls for when making your soup. Or steam broccoli or cauliflower and puree it into a soup. Eating out? Soups (especially those that are broth-based, rather than cream-based) make for a filling and veggie-packed appetizer.

  8. Wrap them. A large leaf of lettuce, cabbage, Swiss chard, or collard greens can replace bread or a tortilla to make a sandwich or wrap for a quick and healthy lunch.

  9. Make them crispy. Craving a salty, crunchy side to a meal? Drizzle some oil , salt, and pepper over kale and bake to make kale chips your new go-to. Or try roasting some cruciferous veggies (think broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts). They’ll taste a little sweeter than when they’re raw or steamed.

  10. Put them on pizza. Pizza night is a great opportunity to try veggies you may not typically eat — olives, banana peppers, eggplant, or zucchini, to name a few.

  11. Pair them with fruit. If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, mix them with fruit to conceal the flavor a bit. Add onion to a mango salsa, mix fruits and veggies into a salad (strawberry slices are a great summer salad add-on), or make a fruity gazpacho (a type of cold soup) with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, melon, and mango.

Boosting your veggie intake is one of many steps you can take to eat healthier and there are so many ways you can introduce more vegetables to your diet. Play around with the ideas above and see which ones work for you. Before you know it, you’ll be eating more vegetables without even having to think about it. Easy pea-sy.


  1. Dias, J. S. (2012). Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits of Vegetables: A Review. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 3(10). doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.310179

  2. V., R. & Patel, P. (2019). Health benefits of vegetables. International Journal of Chemical Studies, 7(2), 82-87.

  3. Bell, R. F., Borzan, J., Kalso, E., & Simonnet, G. (2012). Food, pain, and drugs: Does it matter what pain patients eat? Pain, 153(10), 1993-1996. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2012.05.018

  4. Han, H. S., Chang, C. B., Lee, D. C., & Lee, J. Y. (2017). Relationship between total fruit and vegetable intake and self-reported knee pain in older adults. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 21, 750–758. doi: 10.1007/s12603-016-0842-7