How to Get Your 5-a-Day and Improve your Health
By now, surely everyone knows that you have to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day to ensure your wellness, as well as aiding your weight control efforts. However, according to the most recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) covering 2008/2009, only a third of men and women in the UK are actually consuming the recommended minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. This is widely regarded as a marker of a poor diet, and could potentially risk your wellbeing so how can you ensure that you’re eating as many fruits and vegetables as you should be?
According to nutritionist Vicky Pennington, getting your 5-a-day means you’ll be getting vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants. It may also mean reducing your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Firstly, what does 1 of your 5-a-day look like? Some food brands use their own logo to show how many portions of fruit and vegetable it contains, but as a general guide, one portion is about 40g, or a handful of fruit or vegetables. This could be anything from one medium-sized apple to three dried apricots, three heaped tablespoons of carrots or peas, or a large bowl of mixed salad.
You don’t have to have your fruit and vegetables on their own. You can get your 5-a-day from stews, soups, smoothies and fruit juices, which is great for getting your kids to eat more healthily too. Your fruit and vegetables don’t even need to be fresh, but can come in dried, frozen and canned forms, which is much more convenient.
The key thing to remember is to be creative. There is an endless variety of fruit and vegetables to choose from, so there will always be something for everyone. If your child refuses to eat the apple in his or her lunchbox, why not take them to your local grocers and let them choose the fruit or vegetable they’d prefer? Also, you can make dinner much more visually appealing by using a rainbow of coloured vegetables. The more colourful the fruit and vegetables in your meal are, the wider the range of nutrients they contain. You can also get your kids eating a portion of fruit by making a delicious smoothie with a handful of berries and a banana mixed with fruit juice or natural yoghurt.