It’s been a while since Eating Well 1. It’s about time I did the next installment. I think most people have heard the 5-a-day mantra yet many of us struggle to get 5 portions.
What is so good about fruit and veg? How do they positively affect our health? In reality there is no one reason – it is a mixture of things. Scientists have tried to identify the active ingredient and then put certain nutrients into a pill to the test various phytochemicals and groups of nutrients that are particularly abundant in fruit and veg but to no avail. You can’t distill what is good about fruit and veg and put it in a supplement.
If we look at the evidence we see that people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables tend to have lower blood pressure, are less likely to have heart disease and have lower rates of cancer. Some of this is due to what is in the fruits and vegetables but there may also be that when people eat lots of fruit and veg then they eat a bit less of other things, those things that in excess increase the risk of poor health. Generally, fruit and veg are low in energy so can help to maintain weight and keeping a healthy weight is also positive for our health.
Good quality fruit and veg adds taste, colour and texture to the our meals. I think we all have horror stories of overcooked, bland vegetables – really there is no need. And there is also the idea that adding fruit and veg to your shopping basket adds to the bill at the end. Again there is no reason why this should be the case. Buying seasonal produce, making use of tinned and frozen which generally result in less waste, means it doesn’t have to add to the bill. Save money by eating a bit less meat and ready meals and divert that cash to more fruit, veg and pulses.
Fruit and veg are superfoods – not the latest goji berry, beetroot or whatever the latest craze is! All fruit and veg – a variety of them, cooked in different ways – are superfoods – not just the ones with current celebrity status. So chop some carrots in that stew, throw some beans in that curry, add some salad to that sandwich, put dried fruit in you cereal bowl….there are lots of ways to add fruit and veg to your menu. Try some veggie recipes a couple of times a week – you may be surprised how good they can be.
So on my things to do list for the blog is to add a few veggie recipes – I’ll get my thinking cap on.