06/21/2017 06:01 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2017

How And Why We Should Be Eating More Vegetables For Breakfast

Let's catch up with the rest of the world.

We’re here with a friendly reminder: the average person is supposed to eat two and a half to three cups of vegetables a day, according to My Plate.  

For some people, that’s an easy feat. For others, hitting that goal can be little trickier. Here’s the easiest way to reach that vegetable recommendation without any trouble: start first thing in the morning.

Most American breakfast options are loaded with sugar ― like our beloved maple-syrup topped pancakes and even our breakfast cereals. And sugar, as most of us know, does not provide us with any nutritional value. In fact, it can cause or contribute to anxiety. Who wants to start the day off like that?

The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 100 calories daily from refined sugar, 150 calories for men. If you drink one medium Caramel Swirl Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee with Cream, which has 129g sugar, you’re already getting over 500 calories from sugar. So if you’re starting your day that way, you’re already off to a bad start.

Considering the fact that only nine percent of Americans eat enough vegetables, it’s time we all got serious about upping our veggie intake. If you add vegetables to your breakfast, you can get a jumpstart on the day. And it’s easy enough to do, too, not to mention absolutely delicious.

Other cultures around the world incorporate vegetables as a regular part of their morning meal. Turkey regularly eats cucumbers, tomatoes and olives in the morning. And Israel has a chopped vegetable salad at the breakfast table. There’s no reason America shouldn’t do the same.

Here are the recipes you need to get started:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article miscalculated the calories from sugar for the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drink as 32.25 calories; the correct figure is over 500.