“Eat More Fruit and Vegetables”
Nutrition messages can be confusing. Some say eat more coconut oil, some say use butter instead of margarine, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, less carbs, more carbs, less dairy or more dairy, less meat, more fish. The list goes on.
There is one clear message that stands the test of time. The great health benefits we receive when consuming sufficient fruit and vegetables – all colours and lots of variety.
So why haven’t Australians got the message?
Recent research reports that 90-92% of Australians reported an inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables.
There is ample evidence out there. Eat at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day to reap the following benefits (and so many more):
- Reduce heart disease
- Control obesity
- Protect against some cancer
- Improve mental clarity & reduce the risk of cognitive decline
- Improve gut health
- Maintain bone strength
- Reduce constipation
The question is…. How?
- Include vegetables in each meal and as snacks
- Plan a weekly shop and keep plenty of fresh and frozen veg to last a week
- Eat regular meals
- Include 2 vegetarian meals a week
What would a daily menu look like?
Breakfast – Poached eggs with 1 cup of baby spinach and 1⁄2 a cup of cooked mushrooms on seeded toast.
Morning tea – A piece of fruit and a glass of milk
Lunch – 2 cups of mixed veg salad (lots of colour-lettuce, rocket, carrot, celery, beetroot, tomato, red onion) and a piece of grilled chicken with a small, wholemeal dinner roll
Afternoon snack – rice crackers and carrot sticks with eggplant or Humus dip
Dinner – Baked salmon with cauliflower mash, wilted spinach and baked sweet potato (2 cups of cooked veg altogether).
Desert – 1⁄2 cup of berries and yoghurt
If you are not a morning person- swap a cooked breakfast for a veg smoothie that you can prepare the night before.
Challenge yourself this week.
Click here for a guide to portion sizes.