Why you need your 5 a day!
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is very important and beneficial to your health. Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, vitamin C, folate and potassium. They contribute to a healthy and balanced diet and they are a very good source of fibre which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestion problems and with a diet high in fibre can help to reduce the risk of bowel cancer!
Fruit and vegetables have so many benefits and one of the main benefits is that it reduces your risk of heart disease and strokes. It can help with your cholesterol as overtime the walls of your arteries can become furred up by fatty deposits which is where your bad cholesterol (LDL) comes from then your good cholesterol goes through and cleans your blood. Your good cholesterol (HDL) is made up from your diet and exercise so ensuring you have your five a day can help to keep your cholesterol healthy. Remember you can get your cholesterol checked when you have your NHS Health Check!
If you are on a budget but still need to get your five a day in, then there are many ways to get it for cheaper. You can buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged as when fruit and vegetables are packaged then they can be almost double the price. Stocking up on canned fruits and vegetables is a great way as you are still getting the same amount of nutrition for a great price but ensure that you get the ones without added salt or sugar. If you are worried about fresh produce going off then you can always bulk cook meals and freeze them, this is a great money and time saver as you don’t have to spend time preparing your meal every day.
To get the most of your five a day have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Even though potatoes are vegetables they are not classed as one of your 5 a day this is because they are a starchy food so try having sweet potatoes as they do count towards it. Keep an eye on the amount of fruit juice you have as the recommended amount is 150ml as it can have an impact on your teeth if you have too much. There are hundreds of recipes online include the Change4Life website so by following these you can ensure you are getting a balanced meal. https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes