We all need to try and get more fruit and vegetables into our diet, they are essential for our bodies as they contain so many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help keep our skin clear and cleanse our bodies of waste and toxins.
Fruit and vegetables are mainly made up of water and a lot of fibre. Different colours contain different nutrients so it’s best to eat a variety. For example, green vegetables are high in vitamin C and E, which are very powerful and protect the body from heart disease. Colourful vegetables such as melon, tomatoes, carrots and apricots contain Vitamins A, C and E, which neutralise free radicals in the body.
Fresh, Frozen or Tinned?
It doesn’t matter whether you go for fresh, frozen or tinned vegetables. However fresh, raw vegetables are best, as they haven’t been stripped of their nutrients. Remember to rinse first but do not soak as this will rid them of their nutrients.
Steamed, stir fried, panned, boiled or roasted?
You can cook your vegetables using any of the above methods, steamed is probably the best as the vegetables do not come into contact with the water at all so they keep all of their nutrients, compared to boiling where they lose up to 70% of their vitamins! If you do prefer to boil, try boiling in just an inch or two of water and cut into smaller pieces so they cook quicker.
Get more into your diet
- Drink a glass of fresh fruit juice or a smoothie.
- Add fruit to your cereal (banana, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries).
- Add salad to sandwiches.
- Add peppers and onion/sweetcorn when you make tuna mayo.
- Have dried fruit snacks or raw veg instead of crisps or chocolate.
- Add fruit to yoghurt and desserts.
- Have a side salad with your meal.
- Try to have at least 3 different types of veg with your meal.
- Have fruit salad for dessert.
- Make healthy risotto or cous cous with fresh veg.
*By Kirsty Kemp
Reynolds at Rainham*