5-a-day is good but 10-a-day is better!
These nutrition tips can help you eat more fruit and vegetables which are important for health. The UK eatwell guide advises at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. Eating five portions of fruit and veg everyday is good, but a study by Imperial College London found that 10 portions are even better.
This is double the recommended intake advised in the UK. It is estimated that 2 in 3 people struggle to eat their 5-a-day and the average intake of fruit and veg is more like 2 or 3 portions a day.
Why is eating fruit and veg important?
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and anti-inflammatory plant compounds which can help to maintain weight and improve our all round health. Eating lots of fruit and veg can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic disease.
One portion is defined as 80g and 10 portions would be 800g. This can be achieved by aiming to fill half of your plate with a variety vegetables and eating fruit after meals or as a snack.
Why is fibre good for our health?
This approach gives your body the fibre and nutrients it needs to function well. The microbes in your gut use fibre to produce short-chain fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol, fight inflammation, boost the immune system and regulate blood sugar levels. This nutrition tip is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.
Shopping Tips for Eating More of Your 5-a-day
Choose organic and seasonal where possible to ensure maximum freshness and limited exposure to chemicals such as pesticides. This may be more important for some foods than others which is helpful if you are on a budget. I have provided a link below to a list of the most important fruits and vegetables to buy organic.
Buy frozen produce which is normally frozen soon after harvest so it retains the nutrients. This tip is helpful if you work long hours and find your vegetables go to waste because they don’t last long enough in the fridge. Food waste is expensive in many ways. Frozen berries and vegetables such as broccoli come ready chopped which makes them quick and easy to cook. They can be added into any dishes to increase your nutrient intake. Saving you time and money.
Opting for an organic food box delivery for fruit and vegetables helps ensure more seasonal variety. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is key for all round good health. This is a helpful tip if you find yourself always buying the same foods every week.
If you work long hours try to prepare as many chopped fruits and vegetables as you can in advance. If you have a variety of ready prepared vegetables in your fridge you are more likely to use them in your meals. You can then take them to work in a lunchbox with some hummus to snack on when your time is short.
Start doing a weekly meal plan on a regular basis so that you know what you are eating each day. Only buy for those meals and then you are less likely to have food waste at the end of the week. Meal planning, batch cooking and preparation are often skills that get better with practice. Having a weekly meal plan saves both time and money.
Goals for Healthy Living
A healthy lifestyle can be difficult to achieve in todays environment. Long working hours, supermarkets packed with processed goods and fast food on every corner make it more difficult for people to reach the 5-a-day guideline and maintain a healthy weight.
Building on good habits can help you be more consistent when it comes to healthy eating. This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. You don’t need to be perfect, but it does help if you are consistent.
Eat the rainbow! Aim to eat at the very least 5-a-day but preferably 10-a-day because the more you eat the more you benefit. Try eating two foods from each colour group every day for variety. Aim to create a rainbow on your plate and enjoy all the colour.
Try to eat a large variety of fruits and vegetables fibre is very beneficial for gut health. Its easy to get stuck in a rut putting the same food in your trolley so aim to think about variety. Plan your list in advance and change it up as often as possible.
Offer children a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables early on so they get used to trying lots of different looking foods and textures. A rainbow poster to colour in or coloured stickers are a good way to encourage young children to eat more vegetables and try new things.