January 31, 2024

How to Get 5 a Day

Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards your five a day, although potatoes, yams and cassava don’t (they mainly contribute starch to the diet). They provide important vitamins, minerals and fibre. They’re also naturally low in fat and calories (unless fried or cooked in lots of oil) so help maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy. Research shows that eating plenty of veg and fruit helps reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to widen blood vessels and thin the blood, thanks to the natural plant substances they contain called nitrates.

Aim for a mixed variety of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables to meet your 5-a-day requirements. For tinned options, choose those packed in water or natural juice without added sugar and salt. Dried fruit also counts – a 30g portion of dried fruit like apricots, dates and raisins counts as one of your 5 a day. Add extra fruit or veg to meals and snacks to make it easier to get your five a day.

Start the day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal with sliced banana and a glass of juice. Include a veg-packed salad at lunchtime and munch on crunchy vegetable crudites (such as carrot batons, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes) for a snack. Limit the amount of fruit and veg juices and smoothies you drink to 150ml a day. Drink these at mealtimes rather than as between-meal snacks to help minimise tooth damage.

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