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Five ways to enjoy fruit and vegetables
  • Fruit and vegetables are good sources of many vitamins, minerals and fibre. Although we should be aiming to eat at least five a day, most of us do not manage to achieve this.

  • Photo: Vanessa Courtier Vanessa Courtier

    Fruit and vegetables are good sources of many vitamins, minerals and fibre. Although we should be aiming to eat at least five a day, most of us do not manage to achieve this. There is a wealth of research to suggest that people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables are less likely to develop chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and some cancers.

    1. Aim to fill a third to a half of your plate with vegetables or salad. Choose fat free dressings like lime or lemon juice. If you're cooking a vegetable curry, how about keeping the vegetables crunchy rather than overcooking them?
    2. Get into the habit of serving lots of natural colours on your plate – the more varied the colours, the more varied the nutrients.
    3. Plan your five a day. This could mean a glass of unsweetened fruit juice at breakfast with a sliced banana in your cereal, a piece of fruit as a mid-morning snack, and a serving of vegetables or salad at each main meal. Done! Dhal counts once as one of your five a day. Serve dhal often as it's also rich in protein and fibre.
    4. When cooking, ask yourself which vegetables you can add. You may choose to mix some sweetcorn into a chicken dish or add chopped peppers to a rice dish. If you have any fruits that are a little too soft to enjoy, blitz them up in a blender with some yoghurt and skimmed milk to make a delicious and satisfying fruit smoothie.
    5. Get children into the habit of eating fruit and veg. Younger children may have fun with broccoli “trees” and it's a good idea to get them to help you out in the kitchen, even if it's making a barrier of cucumber around the salad bowl.

    See Azmina Govindji discuss this further in the video How much is five a day? on the UK National Health Service's website.

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