A healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is imperative to help our bodies function normally so we can feel at our best. You should be able to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from a balanced diet (except for Vitamin D).
However, a recent research by VÖOST vitamins suggests that 58% of British women confessed they struggle to get their recommended 5 a day, with 44% of those who said they don’t get their 5 a day admitting it’s because they find it difficult to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their daily diet.₁
Remember foods that make up your 5 a day include fruit or veg that's fresh, frozen, dried or canned. If you do find yourself struggling to get enough fruit and veg, here are 5 simple and easy ways to help you get your 5 a day.
1. Start with breakfast
Plan to eat a serving or two of pieces of fruit with breakfast, every day. Half a grapefruit, a combination of raisins, dried apricots and a handful of blueberries, on top of your cereal or perhaps a sliced banana on your porridge, are all good ways to start the day the right way.
2. Opt for healthier snacks
Got the mid-morning munchies? Registered dietician at The British Heart Foundation, Annemarie Aburrow suggests to “try swapping your mid-morning biscuits for dried fruit. Raisins, sultanas, prunes and apricots are easy, cheap, portable snacks for people on the go. About a tablespoon counts as a portion.
There are a wide variety of dried fruit snacks available at most supermarkets, often including exotic fruits like dried pineapple and mango. Be careful to choose fruits without added sugar by checking the ingredients list first.”₂
A glass of juice or smoothie a day can be a great part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet and provides a perfect opportunity to get experimental with different ingredients. One glass (150ml) of unsweetened 100% fruit/vegetable juice or smoothie combined, counts as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A Day.₃
4. Don’t forget frozen fruit
According to the NHS, it is not true that frozen fruit isn’t as healthy as fresh, with frozen fruit also counting towards your five portions₅. In an article from bbcgoodfood.com entitled “10 affordable ways to get your 5-a-day”, deputy editor Natalie Hardwick comments “food frozen at source doesn’t perish during travel and it’s argued by some that the process actually locks in nutrients and accentuates flavour, adding, they’re “huge fans of frozen berries, which can be made into compotes or instant frozen yogurt.”₄
5. Tinned tomatoes
According to bbcgoodfood.com, it turns out this much-used canned product has many nutritional benefits too. Two whole plum tomatoes count as one of your five-a-day. You can buy cans for as little as 20p and there's often very little difference between budget and premium tins. ₄
When life gets busy, getting enough of the right foods each day can sometimes seem like a big ask, so there are times when we may need an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. Supplements can help fill in any nutritional gaps.