Just when you were feeling pretty pleased that you had managed to get in your 5 a day, scientists are now saying that perhaps you need to upgrade your 5 a day to 7 a day.
Research has suggested bumping your 5 up to 7 portions of fruit and veg a day can decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and a stroke. Not only this, but those who eat 7 portions of fruit and veg a day were at a 42% lower risk of death from any cause. They also added that vegetables appeared to give more protection from disease than fruit.
So before you despair at the prospect of adding another 2 portions of veg to your daily diet check out our 7 easy ways to get your 7 a day!
1. Kale crisps: Buy a bunch of kale from the supermarket, wash and thoroughly dry, separate into bite size pieces and pop on a lined baking tray. Add a tablespoon of oil (olive and coconut are great choices, or you can use spray oil if you want to keep the calories even lower) and sprinkle generously with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees until crisp. Light and crispy, just like your favourite salty snack but super good for you!
2. Boost your breakfast: Enjoying eggs for breakfast? Add onions, tomatoes, mushroom and peppers to add style and substance.
3. Think outside the box: Stop thinking about veg purely as a side to your meat and you'll be amazed at how easily you'll hit your quota. Check out this amazing healthy chocolate brownie recipe. Secret ingredient-sweet potato!
4. Soup: Soup is probably the easiest way to make a dent in your 7 a day and a great way to use up pretty much anything left at the bottom of the fridge. Leeks, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, celery-anything goes! Chuck them in a pan with some sauteed onions and garlic, add stock, season and leave to simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Blitz in a blender and you've got an easy way to eat vegetables and a nutritious lunch option.
5. Carb exchange: You'd be amazed at how many traditional carbohydrate elements of a meal can be traded for a healthier vegetable alternative. Try romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves instead of tortilla wraps when you have fajitas or take a look at this Hairy Bikers Skinny Beef Lasagne recipe which replaces the pasta layers with leek!
6. Give a little extra: Bulk up meatballs and add nutrition and flavour with grated carrot or apple or chop red pepper and mushroom into tomato based sauces.
7. Go green: A green smoothie is an amazing way to get multiple portions of fruit and vegetables into your body-believe us when we say that there not as scary as they look and they taste really good! Stick to a 3:1 ration of vegetables to fruit and add some liquid to get things going in the blender. Try out our MoveGB favourite (and thank us later!) This is a great idea for a quick breakfast, if you're looking for other ideas, check out our favourite breakfasts!
MoveGB green smoothie
- Handful of spinach
- Handful of kale
- 1 carrot
- Green apple
- Enough coconut water to get the blender going!
We like to finish with the juice of half a lime to give it a bit of a kick!
So there you have our top tips to get your 7 a day into your diet, but we want to know how you get yours...let us know by commenting below or tweeting @Movegb!