Top tip number 5 is: fruit and vegetables contain necessary fibre, water and vitamins. They can be fresh or frozen and they all count towards your 5-a-day.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, one third of our diet should be made up of fruit and vegetables. A portion of fruit or vegetables is 80 grams – this can be fresh, frozen, canned, juiced or dried, and still contribute to your 5-a-day. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, which contribute to a healthy and well-balanced diet, consequently minimising the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Having some fruit can be a great way to start your day or as a snack throughout the day. It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to maximise the nutritional benefits. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends eating a minimum of 400 grams (5 portions) of fruit and vegetables a day in order to reduce the risk of serious health problems.
The high fibre content found in both fruit and vegetables can aid a healthy gut and digestive system by removing waste more efficiently. Dietary fibre can also help reduce blood cholesterol levels whilst increasing satiety, consequently allowing you to feel fuller for longer and support weight maintenance. Apples, bananas and raspberries are great sources of fibre – make sure to eat the apple peels as this is where most of the fibre is! Increased fibre intake is associated with a lower risk of multiple ailments such as heart disease, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Fruit and vegetables contain 80-98 per cent water, which, as a result, can contribute significantly to your hydration. Consuming dense vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes can be an easy way to stay hydrated and refreshed. They’re great additions to salads, or just as a snack. Tomatoes are also a nutritious source of Vitamin A, which can help the body’s immune system fight against illnesses and infections; improve vision and help grow and repair skin.
If you require a specialist diet, there are a variety of Texture Modified meals by apetito which include a range of vegetables such as peas, broccoli, spinach and carrots – all of which can contribute to your daily intake of vegetables.