You know you should eat more vegetables and fruit as part of healthy eating, but it’s easy to forget and then come the end of the day you have had maybe 2 or 3 portions. If you start the day right, and have a look at these ideas you will be able to clock up your 5-a-day (or more) easily.
I will just remind you why you should get 5-a-day. Vegetables and fruit are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other plant compounds that contribute to healthy eating. In fact eating vegetables and fruit is linked with a reduced risk of dying of any cause.
Here are a few rules. Potatoes don’t count towards your 5-a-day, a portion of baked beans or lentil daal (or any beans or pulses) count once in a day. Bought fruit juice counts once in a day but there’s disagreement about this because of the high fruit sugar in juice. Some want it removed from the list. I’m not a big fan, I’d rather you ate the fruit in the juice as a whole. You get more vitamins, minerals and fibre that way.
A portion is 80g, but that’s pretty hard to judge sometimes. It’s easier for pieces of fruit but here’s a rough idea of how much is enough:
3 fingers of pineapple or mango
7 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon of dried fruit
2 tablespoons of baked beans
3 broccoli florets
12 large grapes
Here are my 9 easy ways to get 5-a-day:
1. Have one of the five fruits which are available almost all of the year and are easy to transport: orange, apple, banana, kiwi or pear. Take one in your bag or car.
2. Sweet potatoes count so swap chips or wedges for sweet potato ones.
3. Have a bagged salad with dressing or bowl of soup to start your meal. It will help you fill up and eat less of your main dish.
4. Fill your fruit bowl with washed and ready to eat fruit, leave it on the kitchen table so you walk past it and it will nudge you into having some.
5. Have vegetable mash or roast veg instead of potato mash or roasties. Try carrot, swede, parsnip, butternut squash or beetroot.
6. Have a sweeter, tropical fruit after a main meal as a healthy dessert. It might curb a sweet tooth and refresh your mouth. Think pineapple, mango, and banana.
7. Freeze big green grapes frozen, watermelon wedges, or sliced banana. Eat instead of ice-cream or a lolly as a refreshing snack or dessert.
8. Add some chopped veg to an omelette, spring onion, peppers, mushrooms, spinach – choose 2 or 3 and chances are you’ve got an 80g portion.
9. Prepare some of the sweeter vegetables to snack on like red pointed pepper, piccolo baby tomatoes, carrot, and sugar snap peas.
I hope you are inspired to eat your 5-a-day. If you want a chat about healthy eating then please get in touch.