Get your 7 a day & Make them GREEN!!
The news that studies have shown that we should be upping our intake of fruit and vegetables to 7 a day is like music to our ears. As the studies carried out by University Collage London and the University of Liverpool state, by increasing our daily intake of fruit and veg from 5 to 7, our risk of disease is dramatically decreased - potentially by up to 42%! It all makes sense really. If you look back to what nature intended back in the beginning, we did not have nearly the same access to the quantities of grains, meat and sugar - and there was certainly not a mention of processed foods. These recent studies are very much in keeping with the alkaline way - grains no more than once a day, green leafy smoothies to start the day, nutrient dense green salads packed with herbs, green and root veg and perhaps a beetroot risotto to end the day. There are portions of fruit and veg at every turn when eating the alkaline way and as a result we are putting our bodies under much less stress thus reducing the threat of disease. But 69% of people in the UK are not eating enough fruit and vegetables while some of the information out there on what counts towards your 5 a day it's quite concerning, and is perhaps not portraying the message in quite the right way. Here are a few questionable ingredients that contribute to your 5 a day according to the NHS:
- Shop bought pasta sauce
- Tinned or canned fruit or vegetables
- Dried Fruit
- Fruit and veg in ready made meals
With this kind of information one could be fooled into thinking that the below menu was healthy and that you were doing well by incorporating your 5 a day: Breakfast - canned peaches with yoghurt Morning snack - handful of dried apricots Lunch - tinned soup Afternoon snack - glass of apple juice Dinner - tomato pasta bake There is not one fresh vegetable in the above menu, while the sugar and salt content is likely to be sky high. Did anyone see the recent series of Food Unwrapped on Channel 4? In one of the episodes they showed us how much sugar was in a standard glass of apple juice - in some brands there was as much as 6.5tsp! They key message to get across is that fruit and veg should be FRESH and try to choose GREEN wherever possible. Green is the best colour. A menu should be a little more like this: Breakfast - green smoothie
made with iceberg lettuce, mint, lime, cucumber and coconut water Morning snack - handful of nuts Lunch - Kale and Brussesls Sprout Superfood Salad
Afternoon snack - Cucumber, kale, kiwi and lime juice Dinner - Superfood Sweet Potatoes
Here are some tips on how to maximise the your intake of fruit and veg and get your levels from 5 a day to 7 a day and then hopefully all the way to 10 a day.
- Start the day with a green smoothie - try to make it 70% veg and 30% fruit based
- If you are going for lunch or dinner, always order a side of green salad or steamed vegetables like spinach or green beans
- Always choose a green ingredient if you can
- Make your own pesto with things like spinach or kale
- Chop up lots of herbs to mix through your salad dressing - they will do wonders for the flavour too. Try mixing chopped dill through a lemony dressing - yum!
Once you get into it, you will realise that it is so easy to incorporate your 7 a day into your diet.