Five A Day

Fruit and vegetables are a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients. Many of their health benefits also come from their fibre content, which helps to feed beneficial species of bacteria within the gut. Research shows that the more fruit and vegetables we eat, the lower the risk of illness and disease. However, many people in the UK aren’t meeting current government guidelines of 5 portions a day.  Below are some suggestions to help you increase your fruit and vegetable intake:


SMOOTHIES 

Introduce a fruit and vegetable smoothie at breakfast or as a snack later in the day. Smoothies are generally preferable to juices as they still contain all the beneficial fibre from the plant. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds can be added to help slow absorption of sugars into the blood-stream and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Why not visit our Bio-Kult Kitchen for some smoothie recipe inspiration from our nutritional experts!


  

SNACK WISELY

It’s easy to reach for crisps, chocolate and biscuits for a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me up, but snacks are a great opportunity to add in another portion of fruit or veg. Veg sticks dipped in hummus, guacamole or salsa or fresh fruit and a handful of nuts are good options.

 


FRUIT AND VEGETABLE BASED TREATS

If you do fancy a sweet treat look for recipes that use vegetables and fruit. For example, beetroot and chocolate brownies, courgette and carrot cakes and flapjacks sweetened with bananas rather than sugar. Similarly for desserts, switch conventional ice-cream for ‘nice-cream’ made from blending frozen fruit, or try chocolate mousse made with avocado and frozen banana. 


CARBOHYDRATE SWITCHES

Switch simple/refined carbohydrates for vegetable alternatives, such as courgetti or squash spaghetti instead of pasta, cauliflower pizza bases instead of conventional ones and cauliflower rice instead of white rice. Mashing a head of cooked broccoli (or other veg) into mashed potato to use on top of cottage, shepherd’s and fish pies, or blending roasted veg and mixing into sauces is an easy way for a bit of ‘stealth health’.


SOUPS AND SALADS

For lunch opt for vegetable-based soups and rainbow salads. Most places now offer a ‘healthy option’ in their meal deal where you can swap sandwiches and crisps for a soup or salad and a piece of fruit. 

And if you need some inspiration for creating your own, visit the Bio-Kult Kitchen for our soup recipes collection!


 

HAVE A BALANCED PLATE

For your main meals try and ensure half of the plate is made up of non-starchy vegetables (ie. those grown above the ground). One quarter of the plate should then be protein and the remaining quarter complex carbs such as wholegrain rice, quinoa or root vegetables. 


 

FERMENTED VEGETABLES

The process of fermentation not only helps to preserve food but can also increase its nutrient content and provides a source of beneficial bacteria. Try adding a spoonful of sauerkraut and kimchi (made with cabbage and other vegetables) on the side of your main meals.