There are two groups of people in this world, those that love veggies and fruit, and those that don’t. But the one fact that remains is we all need them!
Obviously, fruit and veg can’t solve all our problems, I’m an occassional drinker and a very regular smoker, and being obese doesn’t do my poor organs and joints any good either. BUT fruit and veg are vitally important, and we really do need to try and help ourselves by munching away on them.
The World Health Organisation recommends we eat a total of 400g of fruit and veg a day and to vary our choice as much as possible.
Notes from WHO:
- Approximately 1.7 million (2.8%) of deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Low fruit and vegetable intake is among the top 10 selected risk factors for global mortality.
- Worldwide, insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, about 11% of ischaemic heart disease deaths and about 9% of stroke deaths.
The WHO report goes on to say: Moreover, eating a variety of vegetables and fruits clearly ensures an adequate intake of most micronutrients, dietary fibres and a host of essential non-nutrient substances.
Below is the the link for this report: takes a few moments to browse, and there are further indepth links as well if your interest is further piqued.
Some of the good things fruit and veg contain are:
- Vitamin C – healthy body tissue maintenance
- Vitamin A – normal vision, skin and immune system maintenance
- Folate – important for normal and healthy blood formation
- Fibre – helps to maintain healthy gut
- Potassium – helps maintain healthy blood presure and important for normal function of nervous system
And that’s just to start! There’s vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D…. This list goes on and on!
Here’s a link for the British Nutrition Foundation, lots of fabulous information and tips: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthydiet/fruit-and-vegetables.html?start=3
Here’s another link which tells you what the vitamins do in a nice easy way: https://healthfully.com/362880-functions-and-sources-of-vitamins-and-minerals.html
So, surely just have a loads of fruit juice every day, then we won’t need to eat the fruit and veg? Nope – recommendation is for us to have no more than 150ml of unsweetened fruit juice a day (anything more is not counted towards your 5 a day), remember that lots of good stuff such as fibre gets taken out of the fruit juice – and there’s A LOT of sugar in them! – think how many oranges you would have to squeeze to get a glass of juice, then think of all the sugar in those oranges! nah, I think it’s better just to have an orange or two 🙂
Well, as my partner used to say, spuds are a veg – i have crisps, chips, i must be getting my five a day! Sorry my love, no, they are good for us, as with most things, in moderation, but potatoes count as starch, not the veggie bit of your meal.
What about all the pulses I now eat every day? I have aproximately 80g on my weekday salads – i know this because 1 drained tin goes into 3 salads. Well, that’s quite lucky, because any more than 80g wouldn’t count towards any more of my daily 5 a day, because they are a fab source of fibre, but don’t contain as many nutrients as other fruit and veg.
My poor mum used to have an issue with dieting, she’s a grazer, so would graze happily and regularly on fruit (she loves her fruit), until she realised that the fruit holds loads of sugar, natural sugar yes, but still loads of sugar. Luckily my mum isn’t diabetic! Of course, when we start having these kinds of conversations, you think to yourself ‘well obviously fruit has loads of sugar, why didn’t that occur to me before’! – so, beware the fruit – eat away, but do think about the sugars, remember you can snack out on veggies as well!
So what counts:
Here’s a note from the NHS website:
Different types of fruit and veg
Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be fresh to count as a portion. Nor do they have to be eaten on their own: they also count if they’re part of a meal or dish.
These all also count towards your 5 A Day:
- Frozen fruit and vegetables.
- Tinned or canned fruit and vegetables. Buy ones tinned in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt.
- Fruit and vegetables cooked in dishes such as soups, stews or pasta.
- A 30g portion of dried fruit, such as currants, dates, sultanas and figs, counts as 1 of your 5 A Day, but should be eaten at mealtimes, not as a between-meal snack, to reduce the impact on teeth.
LOVE NHS – here’s the link: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day-what-counts/
So, onwards and upwards, lets help our bodies where we can, I can’t give up the fags – yet, but I can eat healthy – I’ll stick to my weekday salad – that on it’s own has 3 portions of fruit and veg in it. I’ll stick to my grapes, cherries or bananas for at least one more daytime portion of fruit, then I’ll keep making sure I have at least one portion with my dinner (as you know, i love my sprouts – and can happily munch my way through more than 1 portion, which is about 8 sprouts), and if i still don’t manage it – well – i could always have fat free yoghurt – vanilla of course – with frozen strawberries – left to defrost in the fridge!
But I think the difficult thing for me will be the variety – so in all seriousness, I will try to swap about the fruits I buy from now on, and look at my evening veggies – maybe even look into making some nice soups.
But the salad stays! NO WAY am i changing that – right now I love it waaaaay too much!