With new government initiatives now encouraging 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day versus the previous 5 a day many are wondering how they can achieve this level of nutrition when they are already struggling to meet the old recommended 5 a day. Here at Pure Raw Health, we decided to compile a list of 10 of the easiest ways to achieve your 7 plus daily without too much effort.
Juicing although some people may disagree that juicing is simple it is indisputably one of the quickest ways to get your 7 a day in one hit. Juicing offers your cells a complete nutrient hit as the food's nutrients are not lost during digestion which can happen when digested whole with the extra cellulose and plant walls to break through. The liquid that juice provides is filled with nutrients that your body can quickly absorb; the only negative is that juicing removes the fiber so along with the nutrient blast your body also has a fructose surge; this can be offset by mixing some of the pulp in with the juice. (Roughly 2-4 portions)
Salad when most people think of healthy they think of salad munching, green tea drinking, and kooky men and women; but actually, salad is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet. Simply add a side salad of your choice to any dish; think tomatoes, olives, red onion, cucumber, and olive oil for an antioxidant hit. (1-2 portions)
Dried fruit instead of snacking on that Snickers bar how about some tasty sultanas or dried apricots? Dried grapes (sultanas) actually have a higher ORAC value (an antioxidant measurement) than normal grapes. By substituting your snacking habits with dried fruit you can easily be fitting in another portion or 2. (1-2 portions)
smoothies Like juicing offer a great way to get all the nutrient goodness in a quick drink. Smoothies however offer the additional benefit of added fiber; you blend rather than excavate the pulp which is what a juicer does. You can also add a range of powders for an additional nutrient quickly such as maca and linseed mixes. We recommend at least 2 green smoothies a week just blend 1 mango, half a bag of spinach, a small amount of kale a heaped tablespoon of wheatgrass and flaxseed powder, and about a quarter of a bottle of organically pressed apple juice blend together for a refreshing energy boosting drink! (1-2 portions)
Soups are a simple and nutritious dish to make and you can mix them up with various flavors and consistences; from chunky winter vegetables to creamy mushrooms. Soups can also be frozen and reheated as and when suits, so offer an easy quick-to-make, healthy meal alternative to the many unhealthy quick fixes usually on offer. (1-3 portions)
Steamed vegetables a steamer is a wonderful device you can simply fit into your normal pots. Pour in some hot water until it reaches just below the steamer plate, add your favorite veggies put on the lid, and turn on to high heat leaving to steam for around 3-7 minutes~times vary depending on vegetables e.g sweet potatoes will take longer than mushrooms (1-3 portions)
Tomatoes- are a rich source of lycopene- the super antioxidant that has been linked to good heart health and risk reduction in various cancers when consumed regularly. Lycopene is also surprisingly best absorbed when cooked or processed; think tomato sauces (watch out for ones with added sugar content) chopped and grilled tomatoes can give your body a real lycopene boost
Bananas- are an excellent source of potassium which can regulate the body’s pH. Potassium is also important for nerve and muscle function and helps to balance blood pressure by equaling out sodium which most people consume too much of. Bananas are loaded with tryptophan; an amino acid that is used by the body as a precursor to serotonin “the happiness neurotransmitter”. Bananas' other components also act as a great chelating agent helping the body detox.
Apples- help keep the doctor away; the old Welsh proverb that is certainly true. Apples are packed with vitamins minerals and phytochemicals such as quercitin which increases life span by reducing an individual's risk of several chronic dietary-related diseases.
Beans and pulses
Beans and pulses- can count as 1 of your 5 a day and can easily be added to any salad, soup, or grain dish or as a side to any many meals. You can buy precooked beans which save you from having to soak them overnight. The best beans for nutrition are black beans, aduki beans, and kidney beans all brilliant for fiber and packed full of various nutrients. A mixture of different beans will ensure that you are getting a whole host of nutrients.