We’ve been used to the saying for years. Indeed, it’s been plastered across TV adverts, food packaging and company logos for as long as many people can remember. But unfortunately five portions of fruit and veg a day is not enough. The joy of six is still not cutting it. Seven heaven? Keep going, because, actually, you should be aiming for double figures.
The World Health Organisation’s long-standing campaign encouraging people to eat five fruit and vegetable products a day has caught the imagination of an increasingly health-conscious population.
But we’ve all been falling short, for now the bar has been raised - to TEN.
Love Taste supply some of the nation’s biggest retailers with smoothies and, owner Richard has been eating at least 10 portions of fruit and veg a day for the best part of a decade. Many others have too, especially the people you see every day charging down the street in the latest Lycra. We care about our bodies and what we’re putting into them. We’re probably drinking green tea despite craving a coffee, or heading for a run after a hard day’s work when we’d rather head straight to the pub.
But 10-a-day is no longer the preserve of the fitness fanatic. Everyone needs to adopt this same commitment to eating healthily.
So where did the fallacy of five a day come from? In truth, it is a simplification of the need to eat a minimum of 400g of fruit and veg per day on the bass that five portions are roughly 80g each. But 400g is the bare minimum. The latest research shows the benefits of eating fruit and veg continues up to 800g per day and only then do diminishing returns begin to set in.
So what’s all the fuss about? Why should we be prioritising fruit and vegetables over all other foods. Well here’s why:
- They produce vitamins and minerals including C, potassium and folate – all vital additions to keeping our bodies trim and healthy.
- They help maintain a healthy digestive system by providing dietary fibre.
- They are low in fat.
Ok, but how do we fit all of this into our diets? We’re busy souls, constantly on the move, always on the go. But you can do it. Here are our pointers to ensuring you CAN reach your 10-a-day target.
If you prefer something a little savoury then try mushrooms and tomatoes on toast (brown bread, of course). Alternatively, if you’re in a rush, try chopped fruit or berries in cereal, porridge or yoghurt. Or simply opt for a smoothie.
Salad with a sandwich would be the logical option. But if you’re cutting down on your bread, perhaps try fruit, carrots and celery snack bags. If you have access to a blender, a smoothie ticks this particular box too.
You’ll definitely be wanting two or three vegetables with your main meal. Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes, try a side salad and don’t forget to finish with some fruit for dessert.
If you think all of this will hit your pocket, then think again. The Institute of Economic Affairs has found that the cheapest ready meal will cost more than fruit and veg. For instance, the £1 cost of a cheeseburger equates to a kilo of sweet potatoes, two kilos of carrots, 10 apples or seven bananas.
Just one 12oz smoothie contains at least two of your 10 a day. If that’s not enough, your very own fruit and veg stash will provide dietary fibre, are low in fat and will do wonders for your weight.
Five-a-day? Five is for wimps. Up your intake, improve your life.