10 a day. Really?

A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day significantly reduced the risk of death from the main killers of our time – heart disease, stroke and cancer (http://tinyurl.com/hpb4ctl)

This is really good news! However, many may feel like Munch’s ‘Scream’ – not more veggies to have to force down during the day! The Department of Health adopted the 5 a day campaign in 2003. If you are horrified at the thought of having to eat more, you’re not alone – studies indicate that only 25% of men and 28% of women in the UK hit that target and that on average children eat only 3 portions a day.

You may have noticed that here in The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen, we’re a bit partial to the old fruit and veg! Most my recipes have plants snuck in some way, even in the cakes! That’s mainly because they taste awesome, but also because they really do help to heal and to maintain health due to their array of amazing nutrients. It’s this benefit that the research is focused on – a detailed analysis of 95 separate studies that covered up to 2 million people revealed that the more fresh fruit and vegetables eaten, the lower the death rate from chronic disease. Eating even a small amount makes a difference, so really anything is better than nothing, but 10 is the magic number they came to when it comes to maxing out the benefits.

Before you reluctantly fish out 10 portions of carrots to munch through every day, think again. Not only would that be really boring and potentially not very good for you, it’s 10 different types of fruit and veg that’s needed. Variety really is the key. That’s why I always recommend eating a rainbow every day. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but your body will love it too as you will receive the full range of micronutrients and phytonutrients it so loves. And if you have food sensitivities and intolerances, it’s a great way to help your gut and your body heal (as long as you avoid the item/s that are upsetting you!).

So is 10 portions a day realistic? Getting more lovely plant based produce into the diet is one of the things we cover on my Eat Well Live Well course where I show you how to do it, plus give you a whole selection of recipes to keep you interested and motivated. So I can definitely confirm it is – with a little bit of forward planning and focus. The three main things to do is:

  • have a bowl of fresh vegetable soup every day
  • eat a salad every day
  • eat a good portion of cooked vegetables every day

Just doing these three simple things will wack up your veggie intake alone. Add in a 2-3 portions of fruit a day and you’re there.

Never expecting anyone to do anything I wouldn’t, here is a run down of what I ate today – lets see if I managed to get to 10:

Breakfast – fruit and nut muesli with almond milk, ground flaxseed, a portion of blueberries (1) and a banana (2)
Lunch – vegetable and lentil soup (3&4) with a hummus wrap and salad (5).

Snack – apple (6)

Dinner – vegetable lasagna – dairy free and gluten free, of course (7), baked sweet potato (8) with salad (9&10) and fruit crumble (11).

Done! And that’s why I always recommend a whole food plant based diet – it’s easy to reach this target and eat fabulous food in the process.

So why not have a look at what you eat each day, and if you’re slightly off track, look at making some simple additions to get great benefits. And if you feel you need more, why not come along to my next course starting on 25th April in Hove – follow the link for more information http://thesensitivefoodiekitchen.com/5-week-course-2/

Happy munching!