We’re sure you’ve heard of the famous ‘5 A Day’ phrase, it’s been all the rage over the last decade or so. So much so, that it would be hard to find anyone that isn’t aware of the importance of eating at least some daily fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. There’s plenty of evidence that shows how eating at least five potions of fruit and vegetables each day can provide enough of the vital vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to function properly as well as prevent many common illnesses and ailments. But if you thought the ‘5 A Day’ phrase wasn’t a mantra worth keeping, or even that it was too difficult to do so, let us show you how easy it really is to keep yourself healthy through a balanced diet.
Eat the rainbow
For starters, fruit and vegetables are not only great sources of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and Potassium, but also dietary fibres that aid digestion, maintain a healthy gut and reduce the risk of cancer. However, unfortunately, there isn’t a single fruit or vegetable that contains all of these essential nutrients needed for your body’s functioning. This is why doctors and dieticians stress the importance of a varied, as well as a balanced, diet. This isn’t nearly as daunting as it seems, ensuring you’re consuming a varied amount of fruit and veg can be as easy as eating as many different colours as possible. For example, red fruit and vegetables generally contain nutrients that can help maintain skin health and prevent heart disease. Orange ones such as carrots, contain Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for good vision, while the classic greens can reduce the risk of some cancers.
So making sure you’re consuming a varied amount of great fruit and vegetables can be as easy as picking out five of your favourite colours!
For more information, follow this link for some great advice: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-counts-five-day
GIY – Grow it yourself!
To make getting your 5 A Day a bit more interesting, why not try growing your own? Gardening is not only a great way to get the freshest produce possible, but its also an incredible experience as you care for your plants as they grow right in front of you. Not to mention getting to enjoy eating your hard work when they’re done.
Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, some plants such as strawberries and peppers can grow in small containers both inside or outside, just look for windowsill boxes online or at your local garden centre. It’s also worth seeing if your council offers any allotments nearby, or if there’s any local garden schemes in your area.
Top money saving tips
Fruit and vegetables are already some of the cheapest foods you can buy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go cheaper! Try buying loose fruit and veggies, these can be larger and buying by the kilo can save you from the mark-up of supermarket multi-packs.
Also if you haven’t already, try visiting your local market, there’s bound to be one nearby. These can offer much higher quality produce at a more friendly price, you’ll also be supporting your local community and it’s economy.
Chopping up vegetables that are nearing the end of their best, or looking a bit tired, and using them as a base for a soup, adding them to casserole, or simply freezing them can breathe new life into some produce you would have just thrown away.
And don’t forget, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still count towards your five a day, and these may also last much longer and be cheaper than their fresher alternatives.