How much should you really have?
FRUIT & VEG
The benefits of eating more
We always hear about the importance of getting 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but in recent years this old theory has recently been overcome by the concept that we should be getting
At least 7 portions instead!
New research suggests that 7 portions of fruit and vegetables per day should be the target and eating a diet in which you get 10 portions per day can have even more health benefits.
Fruit and vegetables contain minerals, fibre, vitamins and antioxidant that can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
Fitting 7 portions into your day can seem a bit tricky but it’s actually easier than it seems. Don’t just stick to the usual apple and lettuce – greens are great but you need a variety of colours. Trying different seasonal fruit and veg will make your diet less boring and more balanced. If you eat the same food everyday, you’re less likely to reach your 7-a-day goal and you might end up with less nutrients that you need.
Keep in mind that potatoes don’t count as your 7-a-day but beans, lentils and chickpeas do and are also a great source of protein
Fruit & Veg at work…
For those of you who still struggle to have enough fruit and veg, the workplace is an easy opportunity to consume fruit and vegetables both in meals and as snacks. Rather than buying biscuits or chocolate, place a fruit bowl somewhere in sight and fill it with a variety of fruit and veggies that you can snack on throughout the day. Dried fruit is allowed too but make sure it’s unsweetened or unsalted and not coated in chocolate or honey.
When we’re trying to change our food habits, having someone who supports you can make things much easier. So why don’t you encourage your colleagues to bring in some fruit and veg that you can all share at work?
You’re likely now wondering “ what counts as a portion…? ”
One portion can be an orange, a banana or a small punnet of strawberries, which count as 1 of your 7-a-day. If you have any of them before lunch, and then eat a carrot, a celery stalk or some cucumber in the afternoon, you’ll quickly realise that you’ve already done half the job. Portions will vary from one fruit and veg to the next but here are some useful examples. If in doubt remember that any serving that is roughly palm sized can count as 1 portion.
If you are working from home, getting the right quantity and variety of fruit and vegetables is easy and all starts when your in the supermarket.
If you travel into work try to bring your own food, but if you really can’t, avoid take-aways, ready meals or sweet fatty snacks. When going to the canteen or to a restaurant, make sure you get a mixed salad to accompany your lunch and eat this first. This is an easy way to make sure that you get more vegetables into your diet.
Want to shake up your breakfast…
Try adding mango chunks to your yogurt, blueberries to your muesli or top your toast with smashed avocado. Instead of having a coffee on the go, prepare some freshly pressed juices. You could mix, for example, leafy green (spinach or kale), a green apple, a cucumber and a pinch of ginger.
Fresh juices are very easy to make and can give you the right boost of energy that you need to get you through your day at work.
THE BENEFITS OF MORE FRUIT & VEG
1. Increases vitamin and mineral intake
2. Aides digestion
3. Can provide a healthier sweet snack
4. Can reduce cholestrol
5. Can increase energy
6. Can improve imune system
You now know about the benefits and how much fruit and vegetables you should be aiming for each day. Keep this is mind when food shopping and plan your meals and snacks to make sure that you hit your target
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