How To Make Sure You Get Your Five A Day? 10 Tips
You’ve probably known for a while now that you should be getting your five a day everyday of the work. This means eating five types of fruit or vegetables that contribute to a well-balanced diet that is crammed with both macronutrients and micronutrients.
Five a day is a guideline backed by research that suggests that if we eat at least five types of fruit of veg a day, we will become healthier and significantly reduce our chances of developing a whole host of physical problems, including debilitating diseases.
But you’ve also probably discovered that actually getting your five a day is not exactly easy. There are only so many hours in the day, and it can get a bit difficult cramming in the right amount of fruit and vegetables. Perhaps you just don’t know what to cook with your ingredients, or maybe you’re finding that you just can’t afford so much goodness. Either way, you’re in need a bit of guidance. Here are 10 tips on how to make sure you get your five a day.
Buy Loose Fruit
Many of us are inclined to purchasing pre-packaged fruit because it’s more convenient. True enough, snacking on pre-sliced watermelon is a heck of a lot easier than cutting up the big fruit yourself. But if you’re shopping on a budget, it’s much cheaper to buy your fruit loose.
When you buy your fruit loose, you can buy just one or two at a time. This will work out cheaper over the course of a week than buying a packet of fruit that kinda makes you want to eat it all in one go. So what happens is that you have to buy another expensive pack the next day.
Be Creative With How You Use Your Vegetables
When I was a kid, the only way I got my vegetables was when my mom boiled or steamed them and added them to a meat dish, such as roast turkey.
I hated vegetables, and I especially hated them boiled or steamed. One of my least fondest memories of my childhood was eating Sunday dinner, and the smell of boiled cabbage still makes me shiver today.
The thing is, though, that there are so many ways you can use your vegetables. You don’t have to boil and steam them all the time. You can dump them in soups and stews, mix them into a casserole, add them to sandwiches, blend them, and so on. Be creative and find what works for you.
One of the prime reasons why a lot of people don’t get enough fruit and veg is that they don’t like eating whole fruits and veg. The idea of eating a whole banana or a whole carrot or a bunch of leafy greens just doesn’t appeal to them.
And this is where smoothies come in. When you juice your fruit and veg, you’re still getting all the good stuff and you’re pretty much getting most of your five a day in one glass. You can add whatever you want to your smoothies, from kale and spinach to mangos and kiwi fruit. Smoothies are tasty, refreshing and incredibly rewarding.
Eat Fruit For Breakfast
Fruit is probably the best breakfast you could ever have. It’s basically instant energy on tap, and therefore gets you pumped and ready for the day. It also cleans your system out from the day and night before.
You can eat pieces of fruit by themselves, or you could include them in your bowl of oatmeal. Or whatever cereal you have, really!
Fresh vegetables are obviously very good for you. They’re stuffed with nutrients and have lost none of their potency.
But fresh vegetables also lose their ripeness pretty quickly. Before you know it, that spinach you bought three days ago has already gone black and slimy. Gross.
Frozen vegetables ensure that you get more bang for your buck. They retain most of their nutrients, and they can lost for as long as you want. They’re also cheaper than fresh vegetables and can be stored away for whenever you need them.
Eat Healthier Snacks
My friend was recently saying to me how she struggles to fit in her five a day. She lamented this to me while gorging on a candy bar in the afternoon.
I suggested that she replace the candy bar for a healthier snack, such as a piece of fruit.
Lots of people are sceptical about this at first because they love their sugary snacks. It’s a sort of comfort food. But fruit can be as delicious a snack as you want it to be. Find the fruits you love and gorge on them when you feel hungry.
Stop Relying On Ready Meals
Many of us eat pre-packaged “TV dinners” because they’re convenient, especially if you’ve been working 10 hours. You just want to be able to come home, bung your dinner in the microwave and eat within 5 minutes. Even I myself have used these TV dinners in the past.
But although some of them do contain vegetables, they don’t really count towards your five a day. The amount of veggies they contain is small and they’re laced with artificial compounds and chemicals.
Instead, you should consider swapping these pre-packaged meals for some homemade alternatives. Search for some great recipes online and start stuffing your meals with vegetables. In this way, you decide how many vegetables your casserole is going to contain.
Eat Canned Fruit
A friend of mine recently pulled me up when she saw me eating a tin of canned fruit. She said that it doesn’t count to my five a day. I told her that it did.
It took a while but I convinced her in the end, and it’s 100% true that canned fruit counts towards your 5 a day. So do canned vegetables.
They’re really, REALLY cheap, too, and you can stock up on as much as you want because they last for ages.
Make Your Own Sandwich – And Pack It With Vegetables
When you buy a sandwich such as a bacon, lettuce and tomato, you’re probably quite pleased with yourself that there is some lettuce and tomato on there.
“This is two of my five a day,” you might say.
Not really. The amount of vegetables you get on a pre-made sandwich is sparse at best, and most of them have lost a lot of their nutrients. Making your own sandwiches from home means you can stuff as man vegetables as you want onto them.
Omelettes are great ways to boost your vegetable intake. Naturally, omelettes are largely composed of eggs, but you can add whatever you like to the filling. You can fatten it out with mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, spinach – whatever you want!
Stay happy and healthy!