There is proven evidence that a poor diet that is filled with fast food, preservatives and food additives contributes to feeling lethargic, sluggish, low stamina and can affect our mood adversely. Busy people often put a nutritious, healthy diet on their to-do list AFTER all the other responsibilities are taken care of. The catch-22 however, is that when your body is fuelled by vitamins and minerals you are better able to tackle the to-do list in the first place. Eating enough fruit and vegetables is a start and recent reports suggest that the old 2 fruit:5 veg is outdated. To reduce the risk of cancer by 30-40% we are now being told to eat from 10-15 fruit and vegetables per day. This does seem like quite a lot!
To help reach this target, it’s beneficial to be prepared and to spread the food out over the course of the day. Cutting up carrots for morning tea, having a couple of apples in the car, a fruit bowl at work and consuming smoothies and vegetable soups, are some of the ways in which you can reach your daily quota. You can also find green powders (which provide 6 different green vegetables in the one drink) that you simply add to water, in most of our supermarkets, which again helps you reach your daily intake.
Below are a few recipes for smoothies that we would like to share with you. These recipes make it so much easier to reach the target of 10 to 15 fruit and veg per day to achieve your optimum health and improve your mood!
Ingredients: Pak Choy (1 bunch), broccoli (a few sticks), mint (1 handful), kale (1 handful), 1 pear, 1 kiwi fruit and a few chunks of pineapple.
Put the hardest items into the blender first (eg, apple) then the softer items. You don’t need to peel the pear or the kiwi fruit as you’d be missing out on extra nutrients! Just give everything a good wash in water beforehand. Blend with water for 50 seconds, then drink. You’ve just had 4 veg + 3 fruit=7..and that’s a great start!
Ingredients: Beetroot (half a small beetroot), cucumber, ginger (about a 3cm chunk-not peeled), cauliflower (small chunk), strawberries (about 4 small), frozen raspberries and blueberries. Same instructions as above and you’ve now consumed 8 fruit and veg-well done!
Ingredients: Carrot (1 small), ginger (about a 3cm chunk-not peeled), orange capsicum (pitted and cored), cauliflower (small chunk), orange (no seeds or peel), peach (pitted), nectarine (pitted). Same instructions as above and you’ve now consumed 7 fruit and veg – well done!
Current research on the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables outlines that even though fruit is healthy, vegetables give the best protection against many cancers. If worried about the fructose in fruit when making smoothies, just cut up smaller portions and these will mask the taste of the vegetables.
Making smoothies is also a great activity to do with children as they can help out with the shopping, washing and preparation. Watching them drink turn purple or green is also fun!
Soups can also help reach the target. Adding chick peas, lentils or any other beans to a natural pumpkin or vegetable soup makes them really filling and increases levels of fibre. If you have any other great recipes that you use and would like to share, we would love to hear from you!
Yours in health and happiness…
The Pure Insights Team