Everybody knows that by consuming more vegetables and fruit as part of a regular diet could improve health and stay healthy. Both vegetables and fruit are low in fat, salt and sugar – things that we do not want to be too much in our body. They also contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals that could protect the body from diseases and maintain health. Studies show that regular intake of lots of fruit and vegetable could reduce risk of stroke, coronary heart diseases, lower blood pressure and etc. However, how much fruit and vegetable is considered enough?
According to research, a minimum of 2 serves of food is needed in a daily balanced diet. You would ask, how much is considered 2 serves?
1 serve could equal to:
• 1 piece of medium sized fruit. For example an apple, a banana, an orange and etc.
• 2 pieces of small fruit like plums, small apple, kiwi, strawberries and etc.
• 1 cup of chopped/canned fruit
• 4 pieces of dried fruit
It is not too hard to have 2 serves in your daily diet. You could start with sliced banana on cereal for breakfast and a cup of fruit juice in the afternoon for snack. Or maybe a kiwi in the morning and some sliced fruit mixed with yoghurt after dinner. So, this diet is actually easy, and at the same time delicious!
And now we move to vegetables. How many vegetables that one should consume per day? According to researches, a minimum of 5 serves of vegetable should be included as part of a balanced diet. How many vegetables would 1 serve of vegetable be?
1 serve could equal to:
• 1 cup of vegetable salad
• Half a cup of cooked vegetables
• Half a cup of cooked beans, lentils or peas.
• 1 medium potato
• Half a cup of vegetable juice
• 1 cup of leafy vegetables
Try to make your diet interesting and tasty. For example, you could have spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes on toast in the morning. A bowl of vegetable salad for lunch consists of tomatoes, cucumber, iceberg lettuce. Main meals could be prepared with meat or steak with baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and etc. Vegetable soup is also suitable for both lunch and dinner.
You could also add new ways of preparing vegetables. For example, chopped veggies can be added into omelettes, soups and salads. Sweet potatoes and beetroot go well with muffins and patties.
It is actually not too hard to design a balanced food and vegetable diet.
Some suggestion would be:
Breakfast: 1 fruit
Snack : 1 serving of vegetables and 1 fruit
Lunch: 2 servings of vegetables
Dinner : 2 servings of vegetables
It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking at home or eating out. It is always possible for you to speculate how many servings of fruits and vegetables you are having per day. Try to meet this minimum requirement and you are on for a healthier life style!
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