Many of us grew up with parents and teachers advocating that we should be eating fruit and vegetables 5 times a day. “One of your 5 a day” has long been an advertising slogan for branded foodstuffs, more often than not slapped on an item that really shouldn’t be considered a fruit or veg helping. Yet, in adulthood, we often forget that which we learned as a child. Few people doubt that fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and nutrients, but does that mean that we are eating enough of them?
Consensus differs amongst academics regarding specific quantities, but the most up to date recommendations on this subject would advocate that an adult eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. That might sound like a lot, but when you break it down it really shouldn’t be considered all that much. In fact, it should be a basic standard.
When considering breakfast, many people will stick to that which they know. This often involves toast, cereal or even nothing more than a cup of coffee. Whether breakfast is or is not the most important meal of the day may be debatable, but there is no doubt that a good breakfast sets your body up for the day ahead. Very few people consider fruit for their breakfast, when it should be a staple. Switching a bowl of cereal full of added sugars for a banana could make a huge difference in your overall diet.
Lunch is a great time to load up on vegetables. Again, all too often people repeat the same mistake that they make at breakfast time. Deli made sandwiches and rolls may taste nice, but they are packed full of carbs and calories, and are often severely lacking in proper servings of vegetables. Swapping the sandwich for a homemade salad can be the perfect way to redress an imbalance you may have in your diet. Vegetables also make for ideal snacks. Ditch the packet of popcorn, the biscuits or the fizzy drink you have to keep you going between lunch and dinner and swap it for a piece of fruit, or even a fruit and veg smoothie.
These are all small changes you can make to your diet, but these small changes can do wonders for your health, and your waistline. Fruit and vegetables should be at the core of our daily dietary intake, and yet they are all too often forgotten about for their more attractive carb-cousins. Ask yourself this; are you eating 5 servings of veg and 2 of fruit every day? If not, you’re probably not eating enough fruit and veg.