• Jan Clementson

How to get your 5-a-day fruit & veg before you've even left your house in a morning

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt sceptical about the health benefits of having 5-a-day fruits and vegetables. You’ve heard the spiel many times over but you’re not convinced and don’t have the time or care enough to find out more. It’s daunting enough trying to figure out what you are going to eat for each meal, let alone how you are going to incorporate all those fruits and vegetables – and that’s without even considering the expense of it all.

Well, there’s good news: eating all of those fruits and vegetables each day doesn’t have to be difficult or daunting. With the right knowledge and advice at your disposal, you will understand why they are so beneficial and how you could easily hit your daily target - all before you have even left your house in the morning for work.

Here, I’m going to walk you through the main benefits and show you how to incorporate ALL FIVE in one simple step. When we are done, you’ll know exactly how to easily hit your daily target. Ready? Let’s get started.

10 Easy Steps to Eating More Fruits & Vegetables

Before you start diving straight in, let’s get down to the ‘nitty gritty’ of why you need to eat more fruit and vegetables and what you need to know about how to achieve this easily.

1. Why are fruits and vegetables so important?

Evidence clearly shows that regularly consuming fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. But why is this? Put simply, the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients contained within these foods are essential raw materials for the body to use as co-factors or protective nutrients within all the different bodily systems. They act in concert to perform hundreds of roles within the body.

Your body is made up of fundamental building blocks: amino acids (from proteins), sugars (from carbohydrates), fatty acids (from fats), vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and water. For your body to function properly, each of these nutrient groups is required.....and they must come from your foods.

The current Western diet does not generally lack in proteins, carbohydrates and fats. But because vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are found mainly in plant foods, these nutrients tend to be lacking. As a consequence, we miss out on some of these essential fundamental building blocks. And it’s these missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that often leads to health conditions.

2. Why 5-a day?

In a nutshell, the 5-a-day campaign is based on advice from the World Health Organisation, which collected evidence that eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day were needed to meet our nutritional requirements and protect us from the development of chronic diseases.

In reality, five portions is the minimum, as the evidence suggests that the more fruit and vegetables we eat, the greater our protection against diet-related disease. Nevertheless it is a good starting point given that here in the UK a YouGov survey carried out for BBC Good Food found that 64% of the UK population does not get their 5-a-day.

3. Will I feel any immediate benefits?

You might think that chronic conditions are associated with aging and that you don’t need to do anything about this just yet - but what about right now? Can you really expect to experience noticeable benefits straight away? Well, you may just want to think again. What if you could improve your energy, skin, sleep, digestion and concentration just by regularly eating fruit and vegetables? Would you reconsider? My 1:1 nutrition clients certainly have because this is just what happens to them. And this can happen to you too when you start.