Having fruits and vegetables is part of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Getting enough of them on a regular basis will ensure that you get a variety of minerals and nutrients that will keep your body healthy. There are significant health benefits when consuming at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. At around 80 g a portion, this is based on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s advice on eating a minimum of 400 g a day.
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrients and minerals, including a variety of vitamins as well as potassium, fiber, and foliate. Fiber is great for digestion and maintaining a healthy gut, and will usually keep you feeling full, meaning you’re less likely to overeat. Because each fruit and vegetable offers different benefits, it’s important to eat different combinations in order to maximize the benefits they have to offer. Beans and lentils also count towards your five a day and are great sources of carbohydrates and protein. However, unlike fruits and vegetables, these, and other legumes only count as one portion a day. Adding vegetables to your meals is easier than you might think, simply by adding some frozen chopped veg to rice while it’s cooking or canned veg into couscous.
You can even add some chopped root veg the next time you roast potatoes, such as carrots and parsnips. Adding fruits to your daily routine is also super easy. Start your day by adding a handful or two of berries to your morning yogurt or muesli. Dried apricots, raisins, and even sliced bananas will also go great on top of a nice bowl of oatmeal. In terms of snacks, having a fully stocked fruit bowl on hand will likely encourage you to snack from there instead of cookies. Vegetable sticks such as carrots, peppers, and cucumbers are also a great option to keep ready in the fridge. Remember, it’s not about changing everything, but rather about introducing more fruits and vegetables into your day.