In the UK, one of the biggest public health campaigns centers around the idea that you need to get your “5 a Day” – 5 portions of fruit and veg every day to keep you healthy. Since I was tiny I’ve been a very reluctant fruit and veg eater – often needing to be kept at the table by my mum for hours sitting in front of an offending carrot or piece of tomato. Recently I’ve been making a big effort to increase my intake, so have been trying to include more fresh things in my diet.
Here are some 5 ideas to help you get your 5 a day! One portion is defined as 80g of fruit or vegetables, roughly a handful if you are a visual person.
1. Start your day with a glass of fresh fruit juice or a smoothie. My absolute favourite is a Sunshine Shake from Life Cafe on Shelley Street. Remember that no matter how many juices or smoothies you drink, they can only count as one portion due to the breakdown of fibre when a fruit is juiced.
2. Grab a banana or apple during your morning coffee break. I find that giving myself a treat, like a nice coffee helps the fruit go down more easily!
3. Put veggies in your lunchtime salad. Bell peppers, tomatoes and avocados are a great addition to salad leaves that give you an extra nutritional boost. I’m often guilty of having just lettuce to accompany a sandwich, which are mostly water and therefore don’t add much value.
4. Snack on dried fruit during the afternoon lull. After lunch between the hours of 2 and 3, we often experience a drop in energy levels that corresponds to a dip in our biorhythms. Snacking on dried apricots, raisins or mango (check they don’t contain any added sugar) can help you get through this sleepy time.
5. Make your own healthy pasta sauce with chopped tomatoes (tinned is fine), aubergine and courgette. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes and serve with wholemeal pasta.
Be careful when you up your intake to make sure that you cut sugar in other areas of your diet – suddenly eating 2-3 more portions of fruit a day adds a lot of (natural) sugar into your diet which will up your daily calories.
If you’re interested in joining Sassy’s fitness drive, we’re doing Bikini Bootcampp tomorrow in the Hong Kong Park. Come along!