Home Healthy Eating 15 Tricks From Dr. Oz That'll Make Your Meals Healthier

15 Tricks From Dr. Oz That'll Make Your Meals Healthier

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Danielle Occhiogrosso Daly

In my professional life and my personal one, I’ve seen food change people. In fact, food has changed me. Believe it or not, when I was a child, my favorite spot in the house was the candy drawer. Every day when I got home from school, I scooped out something sweet. I gradually realized, especially when I played sports, that the right food could fuel my body. And when my eating habits changed, I changed. I had more energy. I was in a better mood. I didn’t get run-down or suffer from long streaks of blahness.

I’ve since seen plenty of evidence that of all the choices you make about your health, nothing has greater influence than the food you eat. Yes, food can break you, but it also holds the power to fix your body, prevent some diseases and reverse others, and help you feel healthier and more energetic overall. One of the most important ways to help your body do the great things it wants to do for you, day in and day out, is to give fruits and vegetables a pivotal role — not just a cameo appearance — in your diet.

Of course, knowing what to do and actually making it happen in a life that’s already full can be two different things. So I teamed up with registered dietitian Karen Ansel, author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer, to come up with ways to load up effortlessly every day on scrumptious produce.

1

The Doctor

Eating more fruits and veggies can boost your health, your energy, and your life. Discover what to choose and how to get it on your plate without fuss (from you or your family).

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2

Pump up a go-to snack.

Simmer a cup of pitted prunes in a cup of water until they plump up, drain, then spoon them onto Greek yogurt. (Packed with fiber and antioxidants, prunes are one of the most underrated fruits.)

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3

Add produce when possible.

Yes, even to savory foods. One easy, standout way: Whip up a batch of pancakes.

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4

Think of pizza as a vehicle for produce.

Load your slice with these new combinations:

• Zucchini, scallions, lemon zest, and Parmesan
• Mushrooms, spinach, leek, and Gruyère
• Poblano, corn, red onion, and Cheddar

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5

Swap in black beans for half the meat in tacos.

Beans aren’t just a good source of protein — they’re vegetables too!

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6

Top grilled chicken or fish with fruit salsa or relish.

Get creative and mix in a few types of seasonal fruit.

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7

Lighten up your burgers.

Boost the health profile and keep the heartiness of this go-to main course simply by folding in 8 oz of shredded carrots or beets or finely chopped mushrooms per pound of ground meat.

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8

Make a lighter lasagna.

Slash a third of the calories from your next lasagna by using slices of broiled or grilled zucchini in place of standard lasagna noodles.

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9

Sweeten up bitter greens with fruit.

For instance, toss roasted grapes into pasta with kale.

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10

Give chicken a twist.

For more flavor and more produce, simply sauté a couple of sliced pears with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and spoon over roasted or grilled chicken breasts.

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11

Try veggies for breakfast.

The next time you make fried or poached eggs, skip the toast and serve them over sautéed spinach. You’ll pick up vitamins A and C, plus extra folate, trimming 85 calories in the process.

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12

Try a new kind of “meatball.”

This crowd-pleaser — made with eggplant — is just as delicious without meat.

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13

Cook once, eat thrice.

Roast a giant sheet pan of asparagus or cauliflower and use it for three meals: as a side dish with lemon zest and Parmesan, diced in pasta, and chopped in a frittata.

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14

Make grains even greater.

For a quick vitamin A fix, fold 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin into 3 cups cooked polenta.

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15

Bake a better brownie.

Surprise! This dessert gets health points when you skip the butter and swap in an avocado instead. You’ll gain healthy fats and heart-friendly vitamin E, plus a few compliments — they’ll be crispy on top and moist inside.

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16

Make homemade fruit ice pops.

Puree the ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into ice-pop molds and freeze until set. Try these flavors:

• Peach + grated fresh ginger
• Mango + coco nut milk + lime juice
• Blackberries + banana + honey
• Honeydew + mint

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