When people ask me for shortcuts for getting healthier and feeling better, I tell them two things. Firstly, that there are no shortcuts and health should be lifelong pursuit. Then, once I’ve stepped off my high horse 😎, I tell them to eat more vegetables. […]
This isn’t a trick question! The NHS recommend at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day and a recent study by Imperial College London went all the way up to 10 portions per day.
Does that sound like a lot?
Let’s put in in the context of what a portion of fruit and veg actually is. 10 portions is 800g of fruit and veg. What does that add up to across the day?
Here is how these ten portions of veg could factor into one day’s meals.
Breakfast: this could be incorporated into a big smoothie or onto a big bowl of porridge. Or you could mix things up by having a vegetable omelette or frittata instead!
1 handful of berries, like blueberries, raspberries or blackberries
1 large nectarine
Lunch: this could be a big salad with some grilled chicken or fish
1 medium tomato
1/2 head of broccoli
1 carrot, grated
2 big handfuls of mixed leaves, such as spinach, watercress or kale
1 medium apple
Dinner: this could be a part of a typical meat and two veg meal
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 sweet potato
Is this achievable for you? If it seems intimidating, build up to it, adding another portion each week until you’ve hit the 10 a day target. And if you can’t eat 10 a day every day, don’t worry about it. Even four or five days a week is better than nothing at all!
Try to eat organic if possible. But if you can’t, wash your fruit and veg throughly before eating or cooking with them. I like this fruit and veg wash.
There are no shortcuts in health, but adding in fruit and veg to your daily diet has loads of benefits, including increasing the antioxidants in your body to fight free radical damage, help to balance hormones, reducing constipation (the fibre!), supporting your immune system and feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
Have you tried eating 10 portions of fruit and veg a day? How did you find it?