Eat your greens!
Popeye the sailor man was onto something with his love for spinach. This year's campaign focuses on the benefits of a healthy diet, especially with lots of fruit and vegetables.
A healthy diet should consist of at least five or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Including more vegetables and fruit into your diet is one of the most positive and easiest diet changes to make and has many health benefits.
Fruit and vegetables:
provide vitamins and minerals (for proper body functioning)
provide dietary fibre (important for normal bowel functioning)
are a great source of vitamin A (helps protect against disease)
contain powerful phytochemicals (powerhouses of vital nutrients).
A healthy start During pregnancy, mothers should eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, especially those rich in folic acid and iron, which are crucial for foetal development.
From six months, infants and young children should eat three to four mixed meals per day, with one or two healthy snacks in between. Poor eating habits begin early in life, so this is a critical time to start with plenty of vegetables and fruit.
Teenagers need to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit everyday. Good eating habits for life are cemented at this stage.
As we enter adulthood and then go on to maturity, the need for five-a-day doesn't lessen, in fact it might even increase. Vegetables and fruit help with the prevention of heart disease and certain cancers, maintaining eyesight, bone health and slowing the aging process.
Veg it up
Set yourself a challenge and add five servings per day of fruits and vegetables to your diet. To get your five-a-day intake, include whole, easy to eat fruits, dried fruits, fruit bars and fruit chews to munch on throughout the day. Make yourself a delicious salad filled with yummy vegetables such as yellow and red peppers, pepperdews, marrows, brinjals, olives and whatever veggie your heart desires. Or try a mouth-watering fruit salad filled with summer fruits. A great way to meet your daily requirement is to have a fruit filled smoothie. Absolutely delicious.
Celebrate National Nutrition Week, make a healthy lifestyle choice and fill up on fruit and veggies galore.