The new year brings forth many new resolutions to improve our lives. A lot of these are health related. I am drinking 2 litres of water a day in an attempt to improve my bodies hydration levels and have more energy.
Unfortunately a lot of us do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. They should be what we eat the most of in our diet (not carbohydrates) and are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. It is best to purchase vegetables from organic local seasonal providers. In Grimsby we are lucky to have Green Futures Grimsby, an organic farm which produces vegetable boxes which can be delivered to your door every Friday. The vegetables taste so much better than the ones we purchase from the supermarkets. It is a shame that as consumers we prefer fruit and vegetables which look great but without the taste instead of rough and ready fruit and veg which is packed with flavour and goodness.
Here are some great tips on increasing the fruit and vegetables in your diet 🙂
- You don’t have to faff about with calorie counting – instead aim for 2 handfuls of fruit a day (2 closed fists) and 2 1/2 handfuls of vegetables.
- Start of introducing one extra portion (a fistfull) of fruit or vegetables a day – once you have maintained this regularily, increase this.
- Although the government recommend 5 portions a day they were frugal as to their recommendations as they didn’t want it to seem unobtainable – for optimal health to enjoy life to the full try and build up to 8 portions a day (over time)
- Be sneaky – add finely grated carrot or courgette to a pasta sauce, meat loaf, chilli or stew to get extra servings.
- Blending up a smoothie using fruit and/or vegetables is a great way to get your portions up.
- Mash it and spread it – for a savoury option try advocado, for a sweet and filling option try mashed banas on toast with honey – healthy, nutritous and delicious.
- Try a omelette with veg added for breakfast, or if you opt for cereal add sliced fresh fruit.
- A glass of pure fruit juice counts as one of your portions.
- Try roasting vegetables – it brings out loads of different flavours – they can be a side dish to your main meal, added to salads or put in sandwiches.
- Don’t like prepping veg – supermarkets have done all of the hard work for you with their prepared fresh produce.
- Improve on nature – if it’s a bit bland, jazz it up with herbs, spices, chopped nuts, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil etc.
- Sweet tooth? Try melting some 70% dark chocolate and dip fruit into it such as melon, banana, strawberries etc.
- Dip crunchy raw vegetables into a salad dressing, mashed advocado or hummus.
- Add sweetcorn to salads.
- Spread tomato and onion salsa over grilled fish or meat.
Why not grow your own? It is fun, rewarding and helps to connect you with nature and where our food comes from. Plus gardening is better than therapy and FREE 🙂
There are many other ways to increase the fruit and vegetables into your diet – the key is to experiment – try unusual vegetables, look at your favourite recipes and see how they can be added there. My daughter loves super noodles – such a adrenally depleting source of refined white carbohydrates so I add a cupful of frozen vegetables and some meat (cooked chicken, bacon, salami etc) to it to ensure that she is receiving her vitamins and minerals and not creating a nutrient deficiency.