Most of us find eating our 5-a-day challenging enough but following new reports suggesting we should in fact be consuming 7-10 portions of fruit and veg per day, we thought we'd tap up some of the country's top nutrionists to find out how we can cram in an extra five.
‘Maximum nutrient value is needed with minimum effort,’ says Andrew Hunt founder of African-inspired health and beauty brand Aduna. Time-poor women barely have enough time to throw some fruit in a blender, let alone carefully steaming, roasting and boiling vegetables at the same time. But upon hearing that extra helpings of vegetables could cut the risk of premature death by a whopping 42 per cent we immediately researched the quick and easy ways to slip in those extra nutrients.
Renowned nutritionist Ian Marber advices grating vegetables onto food, if you find chopping and preparing them too much hassle. Grate raw carrots over of soup or apple on top of cereal. It’s a quick way to add in extra portions and it adds only seconds to your usual routine.
Shake it Up
Variety is the spice of life so Marber advices consuming different fruit and vegetables rather than five of the same. Mixing nutrients allows them to interact for maximum nutritional value. He suggests we focus on vegetables as they have a lower glycemic index and only contain traces of fructose in comparison to fruit. So if you only manage 5-a-day, make sure they’re five different vegetables in order to maximize the quality of nutrients you are absorbing.
Curb the Canned
For those of you who think opening a tin of pineapple and consuming the whole thing equates to nailing at least two of your daily allowance, think again. Tinned or frozen fruit actually increases the chances of premature death as the preservatives contain large amounts of concentrated sugars. Where you can, buy fresh.
Banish the Carbs
Nutritionist Vicki Edgson tells us to replace carbohydrates in your evening meal with vegetables. ‘Think of a mountain of stir-fried leeks, bell peppers, courgettes, mange tout and purple sprouting broccoli with grilled chicken or a fillet of fish’. That’s five consumed in your dinner alone!
Juice People have a recipe that has seven fruit and vegetables in one yummy smoothie. Even if is the only fruit and vegetables you have in a day, you’ve already met your quota.
1 medium beetroot
1 medium carrot
1 celery stick
Squeeze of lemon
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