Fruit and veg is a hot topic in the health and fitness world at the moment.
A study came out earlier this year stating that we should increase our intake from 5 portions a day to 10-a-day!
Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists.
Eating up to 800g of fruit and vegetables – equivalent to 10 portions and double the recommended amount in the UK – was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.
From my experience, a lot of people struggle to even get 5-a-day never mind 10, so I thought I’d share some tips on how to increase your fruit and veg intake without feeling like you’re going to turn into a cucumber.
Before we get to the tips, let’s have a look at what 10-a-day, or 800g of fruit and veg looks like…
2 kiwi fruit
8 cauliflower florets
1 orange juice
3 tablespoons of peas
2 broccoli spears
Looking at that list, it may look like a lot, but there are some easy ways of increasing your intake…
- KEEP YOUR FRUIT BOWL WELL STOCKED.
Always keep your fruit bowl well stocked and when you’re feeling peckish grab a piece of fruit for a snack.
- MAKE SOUPS.
Soups are easy to make and they keep quite well (you can freeze most of them). They are convenient to take in a container or a flask for your lunch. Here’s a simple but really tasty Tomato & Chilli Soup recipe….
12 large vine tomatoes
2 red onions
2 red chillis
Fresh basil roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Half the tomatoes. Cut onion into segments. Chop the chilli and remove the seeds. Place all onto a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast the veg in the oven (200 degrees) for 30 minutes.
Remove the roast veg and place it in a blender along with the basil. Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- SMOOTHIES FOR BREAKFAST.
Take 1/4 honeydew melon, remove the seeds then cut the flesh away and chop into chunks. Cut half a cucumber into pieces. Put all into the blender with the zest of the lime (grated) and squeeze in the lime juice. Blend until smooth.
- MAKE A FRUIT SALAD.
When you have pieces of fruit in the house that are starting to turn, chop them all up in to pieces and toss them together in a bowl. Fruit salads make great snacks and desserts. You could add a spoonful of natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey too.
- VEGGIE PACKED OMELETTE’S.
Try going lighter on the eggs and heavy on the vegetables. To add nutrients and mass to your omelettes, toss in steamed or lightly sautéed veggies like spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions, and garlic for a delicious breakfast.