For years the general rule of thumb has been to consume 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Now they are saying to devour 10 a day. It’s assumed to be better for us and can dramatically decrease the risk of disease and early death.
The Imperial college of London carried out 95 studies and the research shows “Consuming 10 portions a day was associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease, a 33 percent lower risk of stroke, a 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13 percent reduced risk of cancer, and a 31 percent reduction in the risk of dying ”
Many people find it hard to consume 5 portions of fruit and veg every single day.
Personally, I don’t and neither do my children- thankfully. I do know how much it can cost, now I don’t have an issue with this, but I know some parents find this hard and feel guilty for not providing fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
At least twice if not three times a week I fill up our fruit bowl and fridge drawer. Here is an example of my average fruit and vegetable shopping list-
Bunch of bananas – 13p each x 9 = £1.17
Pack of apples- £1.50
Pack of satsumas- £1.25
Bag of pears- £1.29
Punnet of blueberries- £2
Punnet of strawberries- £2.75
Punnet of raspberries- £2
Lettuce x 2- £1.50
Cucumber x 2 – £1
Tomatoes – 90p
Bag of Carrots- 45p
Potatoes – £2
Avocado – £1.75
Spinach – £1.50
Total – £23.51
I usually fill up the fruit 2/3 times a week. I have a husband that has fruit smoothies as part of his breakfast, at least 2 pieces in his lunch box, my 5-year-old is always in the fruit bowl munching on a plum, orange, or apple, my youngest daughter is a huge lover of berries and bananas.
So I do appreciate not everyone can afford the cost.
Frozen is always an option, and sometimes I do use bags of frozen fruit and frozen spinach for smoothies. There is nothing wrong with frozen fruit and veg it’s down to personal preference. Some people say frozen is actually better.
Fruits and vegetables that will be frozen are usually picked at peak ripeness when they’re the most nutritious. Once harvested, the vegetables are often washed, blanched, chopped, frozen and packaged within a few hours. Usually, no chemicals are added to produce before freezing.
Whereas fresh fruit and veg may be treated with chemicals to prevent spoiling. Once picked they are transported to their destination. Once they reach the supermarket, fruits and vegetables may spend a few days on display. Then they are stored in people’s homes for up to 7 days before being eaten. Not exactly fresh anymore…
If you eat 5 a day then that’s great and keep doing what you are doing but perhaps look at ways to see where you could increase it…
I don’t think people should get to hung up on eating 10 portions a day. Just try to eat maybe 1 portion more than you do, and work your way up if you can.
Here are a few simple and easy ways to get your fruit and veg into your diet.
- Whisk up a smoothie
- Chopped banana on toast
- Fruit in porridge
- Have a stir-fry once a week for dinner
- Frozen fruit juice ice lollies homemade
- Berries mixed with yoghurt
- Jelly with whole fruit in
- Spiralize veg as a substitute for pasta
- Fruit on pancakes/waffles
Maybe if you’re feeling green fingered try growing your own. We grow our own strawberries. Ideally, I would like to grow more produce … Maybe this will be a project for this year.
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