Health professionals recommend that to stay fit and healthy you should aim to eat at least five different portions of fruit and vegetables every day. For some people though this can seem like a lot to take in. Luckily, there are simple ways to make this easier and help you to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
It has long been known that eating a low fat breakfast can help to keep you slimmer but it is also a great opportunity to get one or two of your five a day. If you’re eating cereal then why not try adding a chopped banana or a cupful of berries? Not only will the fruit count towards your daily quota but it will also help to jazz up your old favourites. If you prefer eggs and bacon then add some grilled mushrooms or a grilled tomato on the side. Omelettes are easy to make healthier too by adding any variety of vegetables that you like to the mix before cooking (mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, sweet corn - whatever it is that you like).
There are hundreds of types of juices out there and most of them (especially those that are freshly squeezed) will count towards your five a day. Generally speaking, a 250 millilitre glass counts as one portion which makes it a quick and easy way to top yourself up. Fruit juice can also be bought in cartons that you can pack for lunch or just keep in your car or your handbag for a nutritious drink on the go.
Easy and quick to make soup is also a meal that is often crying out to have some veggies added to it. If you’re eating cream of chicken, why not add some mushrooms or a handful of sweet corn? Tomato soups work well with cooked kidney beans thrown in and lentils make a great addition to most vegetable soups. As well as upping the health factor of your meal the vegetables help to bulk it out which might help you feel fuller for longer.
An old lunchtime favourite can easily be spiced up by adding in some salad or veggies. Shredded lettuce, chopped onions or sliced tomatoes work well with nearly everything or you could try being a little more adventurous with hot peppers, tasty olives or crunchy celery. Experimenting with sandwich fillings is also a good way to try things out whilst still keeping it familiar with your usual meats and cheeses.
All that you need is a blender! Making your own smoothies is a very easy way towards your five a day, simply take your choice of fruits (peeled and chopped) and add to low fat yoghurt in the blender. To up the health benefits even further you could try using a pro biotic yoghurt or adding a little linseed oil. If you’re vegan you could use soya yoghurt to achieve the same results. Once it’s blended you can keep your smoothie fresh in the fridge and serve on its own or over ice. Why not have a glass at breakfast with your veggie filled omelette or fruit loaded cereal for an extra dose of vitamin C to get you going first thing?
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