Eat 2 more portions of fruit/ veg each day.
Fruits and vegetables are high in a variety of micro-nutrients, and are our only natural source of many micro-nutrients such as vitamin C. Many people are consuming an average of 2-3 a day (although there are some who struggle to even eat 1!). An increase of 2 portions a day will get most people to the government recommended amount of 5, but that is still a shortfall of the optimal 7-8 portions.
Furthermore, the micro-nutrient content of vegetables today is at least 40% less than it was 70 years ago1 due to the ground being over farmed and a focus on producing large quantities of food, rather than high quality. So we need to eat more fruit/ veg than ever just to meet our basic nutritional requirements.
The aim of this healthy habit isn’t just to get you eating more micro-nutrients, its also to try and get you to cut out some crap from your diet. Don’t eat these fruit/ veg in addition to your regular diet, use them to replace some of the junk you are eating, and I’m sure that all of you will be eating some junk which can be replaced.
For some, the ‘how’ of this might be very straight forward, but for others, you might need a little inspiration. The easiest thing to do is snack on fruit. Instead of a packet of crisps at 10:30am, have an apple, or a handful of grapes. Same again if you have a mid-afternoon snack – and then you’re done! Easy!
Not a snacker? Not a problem. You can just add some fruit to your breakfast, or some celery sticks to your lunch, or an extra portion of veg with your evening meal. You can even get it all over and done with before you head off to work and have a fruit smoothie/ milkshake for breakfast. This healthy habit shouldn’t be hard to do, in fact it should be delicious and is an opportunity to get a bit creative with your diet.
1. Donald R. Davis. (2009). Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?. Hortscience. 44 (1), 15-19.
Image courtesy of rageforst