5 Smart Eating Hacks To Make Getting Your 5 A Day A Total Cinch
Having bother eating all your greens? Forget downing sugary shop-bought smoothies. We found five ways to make getting your five a day mega easy.
With one portion of fruit and veggies equivalent to a hefty two cups of leafy greens or a not-so-tiny serving of 10 large strawberries, scoffing down the recommended five serves of fruits and vegetables every day is no mean feat.
But while that may seem like a helluva lot of fruit and veg to cram into your daily diet, hitting that five-a-day mark is super important.
According to the World Health Organization, “inactivity and insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables” are among the major causes of obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
And nutritional coach Lyda Borgsteign agrees. “Eating fruits and vegetables of varied colour each day is crucial for promoting good health,” she explains. “Vegetables especially are also a key source of fibre, which is important for keeping your gut healthy.”
Right, so how can we make sure we’re getting in our RDA of F and V? “While five portions a day can sound daunting, it’s really not that difficult,” says Lyda.
Here’s how to sneak extra fruits and veggies into your diet.
1. Snack right
Don’t reach for a bar of Dairy Milk or a can of coke to get you through the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump. Fruits and veggies are nutrient powerhouses, so they’ll be much more equipped at energising you throughout the day. “Choose a healthy snack like carrots and hummus, celery and organic peanut butter, or even some fruit or veggie crisps,” suggest Lyda.
2. Amp up your favourite meals
Meal times are a prime opportunity to up your fruit and veg intake too. “Add minced veggies to your favorite chili, stew, or soup recipe,” recommends Lyda. “You can also mash some root vegetables and serve it with garlic butter, homemade gravy, or plain meat drippings.” A hot tip? “Keep frozen corn kernels on hand and add them to stir-fries, rice and bean dishes,” Lyda suggests. They’re mega handy for upping your veggie intake with minimal effort.
3. Start your day with a green smoothie
“One of the easiest ways to add veg into your diet, is to get your greens into your smoothie,” says Lyda. “Some easy vegetables to add are kale, chard, lettuce, rocket, spinach, cucumber, celery, avocado, tomatoes, and carrots.” Chuck ’em in a blender for an instant hit of between three and five veggie servings.
Lyda’s fave five fruit and veggie smoothie combines the following: Kale leaves, three cups of flax milk, some chard, some spinach, one tomato, two carrots, one apple, one avocado, one cup of blueberries and one banana. “This makes a very large smoothie so split it into two portions,” she instructs.
4. Get more creative with your salads
Salads don’t have to be boring. In fact, with a little extra effort, you can rack up nearly a full day’s fruit and veggie intake in one sitting. To make them more colourful and less dull, Lyda suggests adding fresh tomatoes, goji berries, raspberries, pink grapefruit and green olives to get a wide selection of nutrients into your bowl. “Try shredding some purple cabbage into salads for additional color and purple phytonutrients too,” she recommends.
5. Switch your sauces
Making just a few healthy swaps will help you tot up that golden five as well. “If you eat pasta, use marinara (red) sauce instead of an alfredo (white) sauce,” says Lyda. Love ketchup? Switch it for a homemade salsa instead. “Simply prepare using chopped tomatoes, diced red onion and chilli peppers,” instructs Lyda. Mega tasty, and you’ll be ticking off an extra veggie serving to boot.