Simple tips to increase your vegetables and fruit intake…December 10th, 2013 by David
Getting plenty of vegetables and fruit into your diet is important for your health on so many levels. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the fibre, the liquid intake, and the alkalinising force, better skin, healthier digestion, a supported liver, eye health – the list goes on!
The latest recommendation from the Dept of Agriculture, Health and Human Services is nine portions a day for optimal health. See http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=55983
So if you struggled with the ‘5 a day’ rule, you may need a few tips to reach nine…
1. Invest in a juicer. Get creative and try lots of different combinations of vegetables and fruit. Aim for a number of different colours and always incorporate plenty of vegetables. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and watercress work really well in juices; you get all the wonderful goodness whilst being able to disguise the flavour with the sweetness of fruit like pineapple or berries. If you’d like some inspiration, go here (*insert link to juice recipe blog)
2. Add berries or chopped banana to porridge or cereal. If you go for banana opt for a slightly under-ripe fruit, as these provide less sugar than a browning banana and are also a source of pre-biotic which serve to nourish the ‘friendly’ bacteria in your colon.
3. Top your toast! If you have Marmite on your toast in the morning, try it with some avocado. This is a really delicious combination. Banana combined with Marmite also delights those fond of the ‘sweet meets savoury’ flavours.
4. Snack on vegetable sticks dipped in hummus, cottage cheese, even a little honey.
5. When you make mashed potato, stir in steamed spinach or watercress, alongside a little butter and the result is very popular indeed. Children love this splash of colour, and the taste is disguised for fussy eaters.
6. Chop vegetables like peppers, carrots, sweet potato, spinach and courgettes into chilli, curries and bolognaise.
7. Sandwiches always welcome a new filling, and why have a plain cheese sandwich when you can add sliced tomato and cucumber, for added interest, texture, goodness and flavour? Watercress and spinach add a tasty dimension to salmon and tuna sandwiches, and avocado contributes a delicious creaminess to complement any savoury filling.
8. Stir pomegranate seeds, chopped apple or dried fruit into your quinoa, rice or millet – this adds an interesting dash of sweetness which can be most endearing for the taste buds. Sprinkle in some spices like cinnamon, turmeric or fresh ginger and your plain rice is suddenly the most alluring component of your plate.
9. Serve salads alongside every meal – just a simple watercress and cherry tomato creation will do. The flavours really complement all dishes.
10. Build a super salad for your lunch or dinner. Now salads really don’t need to be boring. Base your meal on green leafy vegetables such as rocket, spinach and watercress. Add as many colours as possible – beetroot, peppers, radishes, carrots, berries, tomatoes – you get the gist. Add the all important protein – be it chicken, fish or tempeh (a portion size equal to your palm is advised), then dress your salad – for example olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Top your salad with fresh herbs like coriander, basil leaves or mint leaves. Then sprinkle some seeds like sesame and pumpkin on top. See how appealing and interesting you can make a salad?!