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An assortment of fruit

Do you eat 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables every single day? It’s hard enough to get one or two servings each day, let alone seven! So what are some ways to do it? And importantly, why do we need to eat that much?

Fruits and vegetables are hugely important for staying healthy and they are a great source of essential nutrients the body needs. They naturally contain fibre, antioxidants, fructose (naturally occurring fruit sugar) and various vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They also tend to be low in fat.

What about the sugar in fruit?

Fruit naturally contains sugar, called fructose, but this shouldn’t be a reason not to eat it. Fruit contains many other great nutrients and the benefit of these out weighs the sugar quantity you’ll get from eating a piece of fruit. But do watch your intake, try to make up your daily requirement with 2-3 servings of fruit and 4-5 of vegetables.

So what are some good ways to hit the ‘magic number’ of fruit and vegetable each day?

  1. Add fruit to shakes and smoothies for a tasty drink
  2. At breakfast, add sliced fruit on your cereal or oats, or sliced tomato or avocado on your toast
  3. Fruit and veg are healthy snacks – snack on a piece of fruit or sliced vegetables sticks such as carrots/celery/peppers (add hummus or salsa for a bit of interest)
  4. Keep the fruit bowl full, you’re more likely to reach for a snack that is readily available in your home or in your bag
  5. Dinner is a good way to increase your vegetable intake. It’s easy to throw extra vegetables into a stir-fry or eat them as a side
  6. Variety in cooking is needed to alleviate boredom. Try something new each day: stir-fry, roast, boil, poach, steam or bake
  7. Although fresh is best, frozen and canned fruit and veg count too. If you choose canned fruit, go for ones without a sugary syrup and that are low in salt and sugar
  8. One glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice counts as one of your servings
  9. Grow your own. It always seems to taste better when you’ve put the hard work in yourself!
  10. Buy what’s in season – it tastes better and is usually cheaper

So head down to your local farmers’ market, fruit and veg store or supermarket and stock up on healthy, tasty and nutritious fruits and vegetables.

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