How to get your 2 and 5 a dayJanuary 24, 2016
What are some words that come to mind when thinking about fruits and vegetables? How about fresh? Or healthy? Perhaps delicious? Here at Hello Fresh, we’re always filling your boxes with fruits and vegetables, quite possibly because of these adjectives! The decision to do so is not only based on our recommendation – the World Health Organisation tends to agree too.
Because they’re good for you! Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables brags a host of benefits. We’re talking improved energy levels, a healthy digestive system, stable blood pressure and the overall prevention of chronic disease. Yep, you really do get all of that from a piece of fruit!
The Australian government have set the number of recommended fruits and vegetables adults should be eating at ‘2 and 5’ respectively. The numbers are slightly less for children and slightly more for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
But how to get your 2 and 5 a day?
Figuring out portion size might just be the most confusing part about this whole ‘2 and 5’ campaign. Does a whole watermelon or just one grape count as one of your 2 daily fruits? Fear not! If you’re into measurements, a serving size is approximately 80 grams; that is the weight of an apple, or a banana, two apricots or ½ a cup of blueberries. When it comes to vegetables, one potato counts as a serve, as does a cup of leafy greens, ½ a punnet of cherry tomatoes, a carrot, or ½ a cup of sliced mushrooms.
So how much is too much? And can we really overdo it?
Fruits and vegetables should be included in any healthy diet, remembering that the ‘2 and 5’ recommendation is just that – a recommendation. When it comes to vegetables, you can and should absolutely eat more! Vegetables are an ideal snack – they’re low in sugar, great for preventing dental caries, and are low in calories (if you’re a mindless snacker, make vegetables your friend).
With fruit on the other hand, it’s better to stick to the 2-a-day rule. It’s much higher in sugar than vegetables are and therefore tends to spike your blood sugar quickly which only makes you hungrier when eaten in excess. That being said, if you’re choosing between a third piece of fruit during your day, or a chocolate bar, I’d go for the fruit :).
Eat the Rainbow
Perhaps the best thing about incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is the beautiful colours they bring to your plate. But they’re not there just to look pretty. These colours are indicative of the antioxidants present in said fruits or vegetables. By eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, the antioxidants act as internal ‘mops’ that clean our insides are prevent damage and potential disease caused to our cells by free radicals – the toxins that enter our body systems from the environment, alcohol, or unhealthy foods.
So load your plate up with colourful vibrancy– no need to thank us.