FRUITS AND VEGGIES

     

After scientists recommended eating 800g a day to prevent early death, readers tell us how they get so much greens in their diet


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Many of our respondents pointed out the cheapness of fruit & veg compared with other foods. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images
Many of our respondents pointed out the cheapness of fruit and veg compared with other foods. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images
Forget five a day, now it’s all about getting 10 portions of fruit và vegetables into your diet. That is according khổng lồ scientists who say doing this could prevent up lớn 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide.

But how bởi vì you make sure you get your 10 a day (about 800g of fruit và veg)? We asked those of you who already consume this amount. Here is a selection of responses.

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Jenny Broomfield 27, from Oxfordshire – ‘Cook from scratch. If you bởi that it will allow you khổng lồ pack vegetables in’


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It’s not a big giảm giá khuyến mãi at all. I started eating more greens after joining Weight Watchers. On this diet you are allowed to lớn eat as much fruit và vegetables as you like, it’s not included in your daily points you have to eat within. That encouraged me to pack everything full of vegetables. I had 10 or more portions (if not more) a day. Now I no longer follow that plan to the letter but I have developed good eating habits that stayed with me. I have lost over four-and-a-half stone.

I buy a lot of vegetables & put them into what I eat. I don’t even think about it any more. For example, on Saturday night I had a pasta bake with four peppers, massive courgettes, mushrooms and onions và not much pasta. That was low calorie & five portions of vegetables all in one meal.

I vày still eat meat but have smaller portions of it now. I snack on fruit as well, so I eat cherry tomatoes, satsumas, pineapples, that sort of thing. My advice is to cook from scratch. If you bởi vì that it will allow you to lớn pack vegetables into every meal. Meals such as lasagnes, shepherd’s pie, curries – even pizzas – can be loaded up with delicious veg. It’s worth it because as well as the added vitamins the likelihood is you will be consuming fewer calories. Also vegetables are so much cheaper, which is incentive enough.

Adam Marks, 37, from Bristol – ‘Invest in a smoothie maker’


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I’m vegetarian, but this doesn’t mean I only eat vegetables. Most of my diet is protein-heavy stuff like Quorn, tofu & other soya products. So getting vegetables into every meal can be a struggle. But having said that, I’ve recently discovered an easy way to vị it: homemade smoothies. I usually have one for my lunch using a 600ml bottle. It might not sound lượt thích much but it’s surprisingly filling. Plus, it’s an easy way lớn get at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. If I’m still hungry in the afternoon, I have a handful of nuts or seeds. The rest of my intake comes from other meals. I usually have an táo khuyết with my breakfast toast, và a good-sized amount of leafy greens or broccoli with dinner.

People forget that a “portion” of fruit and veg is not a huge amount. For example, 80g of banana is a pretty small banana. The same amount of blueberries is a little handful. You don’t have khổng lồ hide the rest of your food. & best of all, it’s cheap.

I adopt this way of eating for health reasons mainly, and also for weight control. Eating a good amount of vegetables with a meal means you need less fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods on the same plate to lớn feel full. My favourite smoothie includes bananas, blueberries, fresh baby spinach, cucumber, strawberries and raspberries. I phối it up with some skimmed milk. I judge the kích cỡ of each portion by eye, having weighed them roughly the first time I made it.

It’s best to introduce vegetables gradually. Try substituting them into recipes instead of things like potatoes. You’ll feel just as full, but it’ll be way healthier. At some point it will become second nature. Oh và buy a smoothie maker.

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Rakin Choudhury, 23, from Hull – ‘I would say prepare your meals in advance as much as you can’


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I am dedicated with fitness & try to prepare meals in advance, so I incorporate a lot of vegetables. I would count fruit as dessert. I started eating more healthily a couple of years ago when I left a long-term relationship. I was unhappy with my weight so I decided khổng lồ change my diet and gym routine. It took a while khổng lồ get the balance right as it can be expensive. It’s much cheaper if you get frozen fruit and vegetables. It’s routine now, I don’t think about it. When my office has McDonald’s Fridays I have a sandwich or porridge. It’s normal to me now.


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Rakin Choudhury prepares all his food for the week on Sunday. Photograph: Rakin ChoudhuryTo try khổng lồ get more vegetables và fruit in your diet I would say prepare your meals in advance if you can. That’s what I do. I prepare all my food for the week on Sunday. Also if you are having pasta, have a salad with it. Or eat an hãng apple with breakfast. It’s as simple as that. Another way lớn get enough good stuff in is by making smoothies. Ten portions a day sounds daunting but it’s not. I feel great for it.

Cathy, 60 from Thames Ditton – ‘My advice is don’t buy processed foods’

I have always eaten a lot of fruit and vegetables. In an average day I have a banana & blueberries in my porridge, an apple or pear & nuts as a snack. Then lunch is a salad of mixed coloured lettuce, cherry tomatoes etc và either chicken breast or salmon. I will snack on an apple afterwards. Late afternoon I have some nuts và dried fruits (cranberries or maybe some strawberries in season). Then for dinner I eat meat and broccoli and carrots, or kale và carrots, followed by melon and orange cut up as a fruit salad. I make that about 10 portions.


Fruit và nuts are a popular snack. Photograph: AlamyMy weakness is cake và chocolate so my diet is liberally sprinkled with these plus spoonfuls of peanut butter & honey.

I don’t believe in measuring. Fruit tends khổng lồ come in convenient meal-size portions ready-made (a pear, apple, banana etc). With vegetables I just fill my plate up, it’s not rocket science.

If I have a bad day eating with loads of bread, cakes và sweets I feel horrible mentally and physically. I still vị it though sometimes.

Fruit and veg are cheap so I don’t know why people don’t buy more. I’m driven by my determination khổng lồ stay active and healthy well into old age. My advice is don’t buy processed foods.

Tamraparni Dasu, 55, from New Jersey, US – ‘The food I grew up with was centred around vegetables’


My mother was a terrific cook, & coming from the Andhra region of India, we ate three- khổng lồ four-course meals, each with a different type of vegetable dish. Every celebration included multiple courses. When I got married, I was introduced to lớn a whole new cuisine, also vegetarian, from Palghat . Và when none of the restaurants could match the quality of my mother và mother-in-law’s cooking, I was forced lớn strike out on my own & start experimenting with recipes.

Breakfast for me is usually chapati or toast with a leftover veggie dish, lượt thích curried cauliflower. I snack on almonds & fruit. I go a bit fruit crazy, sometimes eating an entire bunch of grapes. Lunch is usually a big bowl of fruit and vegetables in a salad và then dinner will be chapati or rice & maybe eggplant or another vegetable dish.

I feel healthy và energetic, and attribute my good skin and hair khổng lồ eating lots of fruit và vegetables. My advice is always cook at home, buy fresh produce every week (daily is hard for most of us working shifts). We cook together as a family & friends and it makes it more fun. There are lots of resources for vegetarian cooking, which have exploded in the last decade. Variety is important so improvise from as many cuisines as possible (Italian, Chinese, Mexican, all south Asian và east Asian). Improvise và it is OK lớn fail, scrape off the burnt broccoli và move on.

Anonymous, from north Wales – ‘I showroom vegetables to địa chỉ cửa hàng flavour but also to địa chỉ cửa hàng bulk & nutrients cheaply’

I get 10 portions a day. I have to lớn work to lớn a tight budget but also cooking is something I enjoy & take pride in. I cook our evening meals myself và while I enjoy trying out recipes I mostly cook standard stuff, such as spaghetti bolognese or stews. I showroom a variety of vegetables khổng lồ every meal both to địa chỉ flavour but also to add bulk & nutrients cheaply.

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My spaghetti bolognese recipe, for instance, includes chopped onion, garlic, a red pepper and a tin of tomatoes. Also maybe a stick of celery, carrot or a handful of mushrooms chopped & sweated with the onion khổng lồ start with. I vì the same sort of thing with my stews & curries. I địa chỉ in a bit of whatever vegetable I have to hand. I use my slow cooker a lot and that means the vegetable cooks down nicely to lớn become part of a delicious sauce. A couple of sweet potatoes added lớn anything like that are delicious.

The key to getting it done is khổng lồ not see it as a chore or a big thing. Just grab a glass of orange juice with breakfast. Or a cheese or mê say salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato và cucumber for lunch. Then snack on a banana. Throw lots of vegetable in your dinner with táo apple pie lớn follow. There, you’ve had your 10 portions without even realising.


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