Our guest blogger Paula Unitt describes 6 Easy Ways to Increase Your Fruit and Veg Intake
Fitting in all those portions of fruit and vegetables around the demands of modern life is not easy, but with our 6 tips it might not be quite as difficult as you think. We all know that eating the right way is important. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fibre that lead to a host of health benefits for body and mind. But sometimes making the effort to eat a wide range of fruit and veg, from leafy greens to fruits with high levels of vitamin C, can feel like a bit of a slog.
The good news is that fruit and vegetables are actually the basis for many an affordable meal, making it much easier than you might think to get your five-a-day.
Lentils are not everyone’s favourite food, but they do count towards your five-a-day. They are also good sources of protein and carbohydrate and are extremely cheap. Regardless of the way they are cooked, 80g of lentils counts as one of your portions of vegetables for the day.
Another ridiculously easy strategy even the novice cook could use to increase their fruit and veg intake is to pop some peas and sweetcorn into their rice. Simply add frozen vegetables to the saucepan containing your rice as it cooks. By adding the veg halfway through, assuming the rice takes 10 minutes , everything will be beautifully cooked.
Workplaces are increasingly waking up to the benefits of providing their employees with fresh fruit at work. Research from Fruitful Office has found that employees are more productive and have improved concentration if they snack on fruit during the day rather than the usual biscuits and cakes.
That might sound like a bit of a headache, but making vegetable crisps is something even the laziest home cook could manage. Just thinly slice beetroot, parsnip or sweet potato and place the slices onto a lined backing tray. Do not add any fat or salt and put the slices in the oven for 20 minutes on a medium/high heat or until dry.
Rather than the token lettuce leaf you might find in your shop bought sandwich, making your own sandwiches at home gives you the chance pack in plenty of extra salad. Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and peppers all make excellent sandwich fillings and count towards your five-a-day. In terms of the bread, you should stay on the healthy side with wholemeal versions of pitta bread, wraps and bagels.
Not only are omelettes extremely tasty, but they also act as the perfect blank canvas to add any number of vegetables. Think about adding a variety of vegetables that you enjoy. onions, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, spinach or peas, depending on your preference. Eggs are good for you too, as long as you eat them in the right way.
Do you have any tips for increasing your fruit and veg intake? Please share them with our readers in the comments section below.