Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg each day ensures your body gets the vitamins, minerals and fibre it needs. But what does a portion of fruit or veg look like?
- 80g for fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
- 30g of dried fruit
- 150ml of fruit or vegetable juice, or a smoothie
Stick to one smoothie a day
The production of smoothies removes most of the healthy fibre found in whole fruit. This means that the fructose (sugar) in the fruit is absorbed into your blood stream much quicker. Experts recommend sticking to just one portion of fruit juice or smoothie each day, perhaps just before a period of physical activity when your body will benefit from an energy boost.
3 top tips:
- Eat a variety of different coloured fruit and veg - the darker or brighter the colour, the better
- Choose frozen fruit and veg. It has the same nutritional value as fresh fruit and veg, and it lasts longer!
- Buy seasonal. Fruit and veg is often cheaper and much tastier when it's in season
7 ways to get your 5 a day:
1. Add fruit to your breakfast
Add some natural sweetness to your muesli with sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. For a delicious, warming treat, stew down some apples and blackberries, add a touch of cinnamon and serve with your porridge. Or how about some sliced banana and nut butter on toast?
2. Make a smoothie
Quick, convenient and fun, smoothies are a great choice for people on the go. Plus, you can get more than one (or all!) of your five a day in one sitting. Remember, fruit is naturally high in sugar, so try to use a combination of both fruit and veg. Here's one for you to try:
- 2 cups spinach or kale
- 1 cup milk or coconut water
- 1 tbsp flaxseed
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1-2 items of fruit
Method: Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
3. Make a soup
A warming healthy soup is simple to make, and could give you all of your five a day in one bowl! Here's one recipe for you to try:
- 250g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 250g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 100ml can coconut milk
- 1/2 garlic clove
Method: Boil potatoes and steam carrots until cooked. Blend both together adding coconut milk and garlic. Add pepper to season.
4. Snack on fruit
Swap out your mid-morning biscuits for a piece of fruit. The carbohydrates in all fruit are a great source of energy, but for a super quick burst, try fruits without a skin e.g. banana, mango or pineapple. Perfect just before a workout.
5. Take a dip
Liven up raw sticks of carrot, celery, pepper or cucumber with a delicious dip, like hummus.
6. Use vegetables as ingredients
Add extra vegetables to your dish. For example, you could chop up some pepper to put into your chilli or simply add some lettuce, cucumber and tomato to your sandwich. You could also make your rice more exciting by adding peas, sweetcorn or spring onions.
7. Make your own sauce
Instead of buying ready-made sauces, why not use tinned tomatoes for your pasta dish? Not only will this count towards your five a day, it will also reduce your salt and sugar intake. Plus you can add your own herbs and spices to suit your taste buds.
How CABA can help
The secret to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle is keeping things simple and being realistic. Rather than trying to make drastic changes all at once, focus on building simple healthy habits, one step at a time. That's where we can help. Visit our physical wellbeing website to access our free toolkits for better physical health.